Department of Population Ecology

Biotic interactions

We focus on various plant-plant, plant-soil and plant-animal interactions. Plant-plant interactions include studies dealing with intraspecific and interspecific competition. Plant-soil interactions include studies of plant associations with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and other soil microorganisms in controlled conditions as well in nature. Plant-animal interactions include impact of grazing on plant performance and plant adaptations to herbivory, impact of seed herbivory on performance of rare species and presence of pollinators and their ability to pollinate plants from grasslands and from tropical forests. One of the main research interest of our lab is studying intraspecific and interspecific plant-soil feedbacks and their effects on plant competition and on invasive success of plant species.

Projects:

Recent papers on biotic interactions

Aldorfová A, Knobová P, Münzbergová Z (2020) Plant-soil feedback contributes to predicting plant invasiveness of 68 alien plant species differing in invasive status. Oikos, 129: 1257-1270. https://doi.org/10.1111/oik.07186 Dostálek T, Rokaya...

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The importance of plant-soil interactions for plant response to ongoing climate change (2022-2024)

We aim to reveal whether plant-soil interactions affect plant responses to changing climate by studying interplay between climate, soil biota and plant adaptations in plant-soil feedback interactions. We use Festuca...

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The Bug-Network

We participate in a global collaborative research network that aims to assess the impact of invertebrate herbivores and pathogenic fungi on plant communities and ecosystems. The BugNet aims to collect...

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Plant functional traits as factors explaining intra- and inter-specific plant-soil feedback across species and genotypes (2020-2022)

Plant-soil feedback (PSF) is a relationship in which plants affect the soil, which in turn affects the growth of the plants. Despite the increasing recognition of the importance of PSF...

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Spatial variability in plant-soil feedback as an important driver of species co-existence (2019-2021)

Temperate grasslands have been shown to encompass the highest small-scale species richness world-wide, facing numerous threats. Low diversity sites are often occupied by one strong dominant species. Understanding the mechanisms...

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Determinants of local plant abundance: relative importance of fitness and stabilizing niche differences (2015-2017)

Coexistence theory views plant species abundance patterns as a result of species fitness differences (e.g., differences in competitive ability or fecundity) and of stabilizing processes. Species with higher fitness should...

Petr Dostál, Tereza Klinerová, Karolina Tasevová

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Intraspecific plant-soil feedback as an explanation of plant invasiveness

Revealing traits responsible for plant invasiveness is one of the main topics in invasion biology. One of the factors that can affect plant invasiveness is intraspecific plant-soil feedback, i.e. the...

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Effect of climate change on plant-herbivore interactions along and elevational gradient in the Himalayan region (2013-2015)

Effects of climate change at high altitudes are expected to be more adverse in near future. In response to climate change, many organisms will have to move to higher elevations...

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Population biology of Dracocephalum austriacum (since 2002)

Dracocephalum austriacum is a critically endangered species of both Czech and Slovak flora. A conservation strategy is required for the survival of the species, based on population biology, ecology and...

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Study of population dynamics and vegetation monitoring of Dianthus arenarius subsp. bohemicus (since 2012)

Dianthus arenarius subsp. bohemicus is a critically endangered species of Czech flora, whose natural habitat is currently limited to one location in the Czech Republic and was also artificially planted...

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