From species traits to whole plant performance in the field: individual and population responses

Name: From species traits to whole plant performance in the field: individual and population responses
Researchers: Herben Tomáš (co-researcher)
Project Type: B - national grants (GA ČR, GA AVČR)
Realization from: 2013
Realization to: 2016
Summary: It is often assumed that plant functional traits, measurable characteristics of species linked to organisms’ functions, should affect species performance through various components of species fitness. We aim to verify empirically this assumption in species rich grasslands and, specifically, to explore more in depth the relationships between above- and below-ground species traits, their environmentally induced variability and different components of species demography and performance. These components will be assessed from long term removal and grassland management experiments (sampled for 20 years continuously) which yield both above- and below-ground responses to competition. Species-specific data on root distribution will be determined using molecular techniques based on next generation-sequencing and real-time PCR. The research will provide hard data on core links between both above- and belowground plant traits and species performance in the field and it will illustrate how to account for the environmental-contingency in the link between traits and plant performances.

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