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Vortragsreihe Ökologie und Umweltforschung SS 2020

Donnerstag 17:00-18:30 H6, Geo


Dr. Stan Schymanski
Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST), Luxembourg (Homepage)
Donnerstag, 09.07.2020 12:00-13:30 LIVE via ZOOM:

Physical constraints and biological controls of plant-environment interactions

Plants strongly shape the consequences of environmental change for water resources and climate. For example, without vegetation, intensified carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by fossil fuel burning would act on water resources only via the increased greenhouse effect and its consequences for precipitation and evaporative demand. However, plants respond directly to elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations (eCO2), e.g. by reducing their stomatal conductance and/or increasing their CO2 assimilation and growth rate. This has an additional effect of eCO2 on our water resources by modified vegetation water use and on the climate by modified surface albedo, as well as modified latent and sensible heat fluxes. Such plant-environment interactions can further have profound impacts on carbon and nutrient cycling and carbon sequestration processes. Plant responses to environmental stimuli vary widely between species and growth environments and hence empirical approaches to predict these responses are fraught with major difficulties and uncertainty.
Here, I will present an optimality-based approach to predict plant and vegetation responses to environmental forcing, inspired by natural selection and the selective pressure to make the best out of the available resources. I will present some of the insights that can be gained from such an approach and then highlight the immense challenges of quantifying the cost-benefit trade-offs determining the optimal plant investment strategies into foliage, roots and water transport tissues.
Some of the challenges are currently being tackled by the WAVE team at the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST), but serious progress will only be achieved if a larger part of the scientific community puts more focus on cost-benefit trade-offs underlying plant behaviour, linking the functions of plant organs to their construction and maintenance costs in different environments.
 

Zoom-Link for joining the talk and discussion with the speaker
The talk starts at 12:00 on Thursday, July 9.

 

***

Invited by Andrea Carminati, Soil Physics



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Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST), Luxembourg
Physical constraints and biological controls of plant-environment interactions [Abstract]
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