Department of Functional Ecology

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The department’s research is focused on morphological and physiological adaptations of vascular plants and mosses in plant communities subjected to stress, disturbance and competition. Recently, we studied the following topics: ecophysiology of aquatic carnivorous plants and sphagnum mosses; biology of Isoetes species in relic populations from lakes in the Šumava region; plant functional traits in species-rich meadows; bud banks and their role in disturbed vegetation; plant life on altitudinal limits in the West Himalayas and the Andes; and pollination ecology in Cameroon.

An integral part of our research activities is the building of large databases that are important tools for selecting model plant species, setting hypotheses and comparing large data sets.

 

Important projects

VĚDRO – Science for public / path to sustainable development

The project Science for public / path to sustainable development (VĚDRO) is funded by the Ministry of Education of the Czech Republic (CZ.1.07/2.3.00/35.0002). It seeks to popularize and increase the societal awareness of the research work in modern biology. This project is carried out in cooperation with the Biological Centre AS CR (principal beneficiary) and the Institute of Microbiology AS CR (project partner). Activities within the project are aimed at popularizing scientific photography through exhibitions, a presentation of individual scientific institutions on Days of open doors and the active participation of students during the Days of open laboratories. Students, professionals and teachers will be also address a systematic lectures. Other significant activities include ensuring student training activities (SOC) or organization of specialized courses and student practice. Very attractive way how to capture pupils’ and students’ interest in the natural sciences is leadership of group of young natural scientists. Among the important forms of popularization belong interactive web site and production of educational films.

Institute of Botany as a partner of the project will participate in lectures for school teachers; it will ensure student training activities (SOC) and run a group of young natural scientists.