Comparative ecology of tropical and temperate plants in the equatorial páramo

Name: Comparative ecology of tropical and temperate plants in the equatorial páramo
Researchers: Kučerová Andrea (co-researcher)
Project Type: B - national grants (GA ČR, GA AVČR)
Realization from: 2007
Realization to: 2009
Summary: The high altitude ecosystems of the equatorial páramo are unique due to the natural co-occurrence of plant species derived from tropical and temperate genetic stock. Given the different evolutionary histories of the two flora elements, the plants can be expected to demonstrate different strategies for the survival of the unfavorable environment, namely sub-zero temperatures and drought stress from insufficient water supply which are the main selective factors in the páramo. The objective of this project is to test the hypothesis that qualitative differences in ecophysiological adaptations, phenology, and anatomy exist between the plants of tropical and temperate origin. The project suggests field and laboratory measurements of adaptations to frost and drought survival, phenological observations, and a comparative study of plant anatomy in selected páramo species. Supporting data about the high altitude páramo ecology will be obtained from long-term microclimatic monitoring.

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