Response to disturbance as the key process in evolution of herbaceous and clonal growth forms: linking phylogenetic and experimental approaches

Name: Response to disturbance as the key process in evolution of herbaceous and clonal growth forms: linking phylogenetic and experimental approaches
Researchers: Martínková Jana (co-researcher)
Project Type: B - national grants (GA ČR, GA AVČR)
Realization from: 2016
Realization to: 2018
Summary: Functional differences between woody and herbaceous species are one of the deepest within the plant kingdom. It has been hypothesised that the key factor for the evolution of herbs is a 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 the evolution of herbaceous habit is a 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 the comparative hard data on functional responses of sets of species.

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