Picture of three micro-plots taken in November 2016 at the Lusignan (France) common garden. An intense period of drought occurred at Lusignan during the summer of 2016. The population sown in the left-hand micro-plot did not survive the drought unlike the two other populations. Credit: Fabien Surault

To grow or to survive: what are the strategies of a perennial grass to face severe seasonal stress?

Thomas Keep, Jean-Paul Sampoux, Philippe Barre, José-Luis Blanco-Pastor, Klaus J. Dehmer, Jean-Louis Durand, Matt Hegarty, Thomas Ledauphin, Hilde Muylle, Isabel Roldán-Ruiz, Tom Ruttink, Fabien Surault, Evelin Willner, Florence Volaire For a given region, the assessment of the vulnerability of a species under predicted climate change should account for within species variability and notably for the diversity of climatic adaptations across populations. Our study compared 385 natural populations of perennial ryegrass which were collected right-across Europe. They were all … Continue reading To grow or to survive: what are the strategies of a perennial grass to face severe seasonal stress?

Effects of plant hydraulic traits on the flammability of live fine canopy fuels

Scarff, Fiona; Lenz, Tanja; Richards, Anna; Zanne, Amy; Wright, Ian; Westoby, Mark Plants need to regulate water content of their tissues, and each species addresses this challenge in its own characteristic way. Different strategies mean that some plants will be wetter during the hot, dry weather associated with wildfires. Wildfires are confined to a smaller area when they burn through moist fuels so, if species … Continue reading Effects of plant hydraulic traits on the flammability of live fine canopy fuels

Four phenological stages observed on common peony (Paeonia officinalis) by the PhenObs network

The PhenObs initiative – A standardised protocol for monitoring phenological responses to climate change using herbaceous plant species in botanical gardens

Birgit Nordt, Isabell Hensen, Solveig Franziska Bucher, Martin Freiberg, Richard B. Primack, Albert-Dieter Stevens, Aletta Bonn, Christian Wirth, Desiree Jakubka, Carolin Plos, Maria Sporbert, Christine Römermann Across the globe, climate change is altering the timing of biological events, especially leaf out, flowering, fruiting, and leaf senescence. These changes have important implications for how ecosystems function and how species interact. Much of the botanical research on … Continue reading The PhenObs initiative – A standardised protocol for monitoring phenological responses to climate change using herbaceous plant species in botanical gardens

A typical “peak-cluster deeply incised round valley” karst landform in Pingxiang Municipality, Southwest China.

Drought resistance is an important strategy for karst species to occupy arid microhabitats.

Zhang, Qi-Wei; Zhu, Shidan; Jansen, Steven; Cao, Kun-Fang The distributions of tree species are largely shaped by variation in soil water availability. In the rocky limestone (karst) forests of south China, the special topography means that a change of elevation of only ca. 200 m  can cause a strong, local gradient in soil water availability, with more water being available at the base of slopes … Continue reading Drought resistance is an important strategy for karst species to occupy arid microhabitats.

Leymus chinensis (Trin.) Tzvel. is one of a typical rhizomatous clonal plant species in northern China and eastern Mongolia. Due to its high abilities of spatial expansion and physiological integration, L. chinensis could be widely distributed and dominant in arid and semi-arid steppes.

A synthesis on roles of resource sharing between physically interconnected individuals of clonal plants

Jianyong Wang, Tongtong Xu, Yue Wang, Guangyin Li, Iram Abdullah, Zhiwei Zhong, Jushan Liu, Wanyue Zhu, Ling Wanga, Deli Wang, Fei-Hai Yub Clonal plants, i.e. those able to reproduce vegetatively, play important roles in many ecosystems. Connected individuals (ramets) of clonal plants can translocate and share resources such as photosynthates, water and nutrients, and such resource sharing may affect growth of clonal plants. We synthesized … Continue reading A synthesis on roles of resource sharing between physically interconnected individuals of clonal plants

Species modify their roots in response to their environment, but in many different ways

Monique Weemstra, Grégoire T. Freschet, Alexia Stokes, Catherine Roumet Plants of the same species can grow in different environments. For example, Scots pine trees (Pinus sylvestris L.) occur from warm, dry climates in Spain up to the cold, far north of Scandinavia. To occupy such a large range of environments, plants can adjust their root traits. To see if general patterns exist in these root … Continue reading Species modify their roots in response to their environment, but in many different ways

How plants and lichens defend themselves at high elevations

Johan Asplund, Kristel van Zuijlen, Ruben Roos, Tone Birkemoe, Kari Klanderud, Simone I. Lang, David A. Wardle & Line Nybakken When walking up a mountain you will notice that as you gain elevation, the environment will get tougher and tougher. At the mountain top you will be exposed to all kind of weathers, both cold and windy. On a sunny day you will also need … Continue reading How plants and lichens defend themselves at high elevations

Looking over the Amazonian tropical rainforest in the National forest of Caxiuanã, north east Brazil.

The response of tropical trees to drought is dependent on tree light availability

Lucy  Rowland, Antonio  da Costa, Rafael  Oliveira, Paulo  Bittencourt, André  Giles, Ingrid  Coughlin, David  Bartholomew, Tomas  Ferreira Domingues, Raquel  Miatto, Leandro  Ferreira, Steel  Vasconcelos, Joao  Junior, Alex  Oliveira, Maurizio, Mencuccini, Patrick  Meir Tropical rainforests can absorb and store substantial amounts of carbon from the atmosphere, making them vital resources to help us tackle anthropogenic climate change. However, whether tropical forests can maintain their capacity to … Continue reading The response of tropical trees to drought is dependent on tree light availability

Contrasting biomass allocation responses across ontogeny and stress gradients reveal plant adaptations to drought and cold

Jiri Dolezal, Veronika Jandova, Martin Macek and Pierre Liancourt Uneven allocation of resources to different structures and functions within plants is an essential aspect of plant adaptations and responses to changing environments. Biomass allocation may follow fixed rules, but they may also exhibit substantial departure from these rules during ontogeny (at different ages) and in response to particular limiting factors, to optimize their growth and … Continue reading Contrasting biomass allocation responses across ontogeny and stress gradients reveal plant adaptations to drought and cold

Different tree species tend to grow convergent fractal-like architectures when reaching the canopy

Olivier Martin-Ducup, Pierre Ploton, Nicolas Barbier, Stéphane Momo Takoudjou, Gislain II Mofack, Narcisse Guy Kamdem, Thierry Fourcaud, Bonaventure Sonké, Pierre Couteron, Raphaël Pélissier The concept of tree architecture, i.e. the attempt to understand the relationship between structure and function in trees, is a long-standing issue in biology. Literature suggests on the one hand, that tree architecture reflects the strategy a species has evolved to intercept … Continue reading Different tree species tend to grow convergent fractal-like architectures when reaching the canopy