Institute of Botany
of the Czech Academy of Sciences
Institute of Botany of the Czech Academy of Sciences
Response to disturbance as the key process in evolution of herbaceous and clonal growth forms: linking phylogenetic and experimental approaches
||Response to disturbance as the key process in evolution of herbaceous and clonal growth forms: linking phylogenetic and experimental approaches
Herben Tomáš (researcher)
||Functional differences between woody and herbaceous species are one of the deepest within plant kingdom. It has been hypothesised that the key factor for evolution of herbs is response to frost or escape from competition, but hard data on factors responsible for its evolution and functioning are scarce. We aim to test the hypothesis that the key factor for evolution of herbaceous habit is frequent aboveground disturbance that leaves belowground regenerative organs intact, giving herbaceous growth form an advantage. We propose to examine this hypothesis using trait-based phylogenetic analyses of both American and European global datasets. We will determine hitherto unstudied functional woody/herb differences and determine whether these traits arose in response to disturbance regimes independently of the phylogenetic position of the species. We propose to complement these analyses with phylogenetically informed manipulative experiments that will provide comparative hard data on functional responses of sets of species.
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