Global Change Ecology
Plant diversity and performance in relation to climate and land use on Mt. Kilimanjaro
Gemma Rutten, Andreas Ensslin, Markus Fischer
This project aims at the parallel assessment of plant biodiversity and plant performance (biomass, phenology, fitness) along altitudinal and land use gradients in natural and human-disturbed ecosystems at Mt. Kilimanjaro. We consider plant diversity at genetic, population, and community levels, and their relationship to plant performance. Methological approaches include: vegetation records, common garden/transplant experiments, manipulative field studies as well as molecular genetic analyses.
(funded by SNF, in collaboration with DFG research group FOR1246)
Local adaptation and responses to climate change in an alpine shrub
Alpine ecosystems, and in particular long-lived alpine plants, are expected to suffer particularly strongly from climate. We are studying adaptation of the alpine shrub Salix herbacea to different altitudes and habitats, and its ecological and evolutionary responses to climate change. The project combines field surveys, experiments and molecular analyses. Our subproject is particularly interested in studying selection, microevolution and local adaptation.
(in collaboration with Janosch Sedlacek & Mark van Kleunen (University of Konstanz), Christian Rixen (WSL Davos), and others)