Calcium tolerance in Sphagnum, its physiological and genetic backgrounds, and consequences in mire ecology

Name: Calcium tolerance in Sphagnum, its physiological and genetic backgrounds, and consequences in mire ecology
Researchers: Hájek Michal (member in research team)
Hájek Tomáš (researcher)
Project Type: National grant projects (GA CR, GA AVCR)
Realization from: 2010
Realization to: 2014
Summary: This project addresses the issue of calcium tolerance in Sphagnum that has been virtually neglected as opposed to other aspects of Sphagnum ecology. Its understanding will contribute to mire ecology, but it is also a necessity for effective conservation strategies in fens presently changed by Sphagnum expansion. We intend to integrate analyses of large data sets of species occurrences and water chemistry, physiological approach, transplantation experiments and the methods of molecular ecology. The major questions are: (1) How wide and how spatially stable are realised and fundamental niches with respect to calcium? (2) What is a cause of calcium tolerance and how particular ions interact in that process? (3) Are competition and local adaptation relevant in forming the distribution pattern of calcium-tolerant Sphagnum? (4) Are local populations tolerating different levels of calcium also genetically different? If yes, what is more relevant: within-site microhabitat adaptation or geographically defined ecotypes evolved under different commonness of calcareous substrate?

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