1/ A strikingly high species diversity on the Roof of the World: the genus Taraxacum in Ladakh
A detailed exploration of Ladakh, a mountain region situated in a rain shadow of the Great Himalaya Range, revealed a twice higher plant species diversity than previously known. The monograph of the model genus Taraxacum encompasses 120 species, of which 50 were discovered as new. This study revealed that the West Himalaya represents one of the world centres of the Taraxacum diversity, with a number of endemic and morphologically and evolutionarily isolated species.
KIRSCHNER, Jan, ŠTĚPÁNEK, Jan, KLIMEŠ, L., DVORSKÝ, Miroslav, BRŮNA, Josef, MACEK, Martin, KOPECKÝ, Martin. The Taraxacum flora of Ladakh, with notes on the adjacent regions of the West Himalaya. Phytotaxa. 2020, 457(1), 1-409. ISSN 1179-3155 Doi: 10.11646/phytotaxa.457.1.1.
Taraxacum dilutissimum Kirschner & Štěpánek, one of the most widespread species in Ladakh, which was, however, scientifically unknown until recently.
2/ Evolution of clonal growth forms in angiosperms
Plants are propagated by seeds, however, many plants also propagate clonally using stolons, rhizomes or roots. Although clonality is common in plants, it has been paid little research attention; we do not know how it changed during evolution or what functions it can provide. Phylogenetic analysis of ca 3000 species of European flora showed great evolutionary flexibility of clonality. Plants can thus flexibly attain its functions when the environment requires it, and get rid of it just as easily.
HERBEN, Tomáš, KLIMEŠOVÁ, Jitka. Evolution of clonal growth forms in angiosperms. New Phytologist. 2020, 225(2), 999-1010. ISSN 0028-646X Doi: 10.1111/nph.16188.
Diversity of clonal reproduction organs in plants. Plants can fairly easily switch among individual types of clonal reproduction, just as they can easily lose altogether or regain it back
3/ Alpine plant growth and reproduction dynamics in a warmer world
Climate warming affects the growth and survival of mountain plants. In the Tatras, Rumex alpinus produces rhizomes three times longer and twice as many leaves as 40 years ago. High summer temperature, however, leads to a lack of water in dense vegetation and stronger competition. Our results from the Himalayas suggest that warming‐induced responses in alpine plants will be multidimensional and spatiotemporally variable and will hinge on the physiological tolerance of species to climate change.
DOLEŽAL, Jiří, KURNOTOVÁ, M., ŠTASTNÁ, P., KLIMEŠOVÁ, Jitka. Alpine plant growth and reproduction dynamics in a warmer world. New Phytologist. 2020, 228(4), 1295-1305. ISSN 0028-646X Doi: 10.1111/nph.16790.
LIANCOURT, Pierre, SONG, X., MACEK, Martin, ŠANTRŮČEK, J., DOLEŽAL, Jiří. Plant’s-eye view of temperature governs elevational distributions. Global Change Biology. 2020, 26(7), 4094-4103. ISSN 1354-1013 Doi: 10.1111/gcb.15129.
Illustration of the monodominant sites of Rumex alpinus in the Low Tatras, Slovakia, Central Europe, the belowground rhizome system and measured growth parameters: annual segment length, leaf and inflorescence scars.
(More publications will be added)