Global Change; Ecological Genetics; Carbon balance; Phenotypic plasticity; Alpine ecology; Regeneration; Gene flow; Adaptive genetic variation; Candidate genes; Heritability; Natural selection; Climate change; warming; Salix herbacea; Alps
Sedlacek J. et al. (2016), Evolutionary potential in the Alpine: trait heritabilities and performance variation of the dwarf willow Salix herbacea from different elevations and microhabitats, in Ecology and Evolution
, 6, 3940-3952.
Little C.J. et al. (2016), Small-scale drivers: the importance of snowmelt timing and nutrient availability on performance of a subalpine shrub, Salix herbacea L., in Oecologia
, 180, 1015-1024.
Wheeler J. A. et al. (2016), The snow and the willows: earlier spring snowmelt reduces performance in the low-lying alpine shrub Salix herbacea, in Journal of Ecology
, 104, 1041-1050.
Sedlacek Janosch et al. (2015), The response of the alpine dwarf shrub Salix herbacea to altered snowmelt timing: lessons from a multi-site transplant experiment, in PloS ONE
, 10(4), e0122395.
Wheeler J.A. et al. (2015), With a little help from my friends: facilitation for the dwarf shrub Salix herbacea under climate change, in Basic and Applied Ecology
, 16, 202-209.
Wheeler Julia, Hoch Günter, Cortes Andres, Sedlacek Janosch, Wipf Sonja, Rixen Christian (2014), Reduction of spring shrub performance under earlier snowmelt, in Oecologia
, 175, 219-229.
Cortes Andres, Waeber Stefan, Lexer Christian, Sedlacek Janosch, Wheeler Julia, van Kleunen Mark, Bossdorf Oliver, Hoch Günter, Rixen Christian, Wipf Sonja, Karrenberg Sophie (2014), Small-scale patterns in snowmelt timing affect gene flow and the distribution of genetic diversity in the alpine dwarf shrub Salix herbacea, in Heredity
, 113, 233-239.
Sedlacek Janosch (2014), What role do plant–soil interactions play in the habitatsuitability and potential range expansion of the alpine dwarfshrub Salix herbacea?, in Basic and Applied Ecology
, 15, 305-315.
Caplat P Cheptou P-O Diez J Guisan A Larson BMH MacDougall AS Peltzer DA Richardson DM Shea (2013), Movement, impacts and management of plant distributions in response to climate change: insights from invasions., in Oikos
, 122, 1265-1274.
How plants will respond to climate change is among the most pressing questions in ecology and evolution. To answer this question evolutionary ecologists usually focus on morphological traits and fitness, ecophysiologists focus on physiological processes, while geneticists focus on genes. Moreover, they usually work on different model systems, which does not promote the achievement of a complete picture. Here we will bring together the disparate fields of ecophysiology, evolutionary ecology and genetics to study phenotypic plasticity and micro-evolution of the long-lived alpine plant Salix herbacea in order to understand potential responses to climate change. In a common field survey along three altitudinal transects, we will collaboratively assess how variation in phenological, ecophysiological, morphological and fitness-related traits, as well as in molecular markers and candidate genes is associated with altitude and micro-habitats (ridges and snow beds). Evolutionary responses in different micro-habitats will be predicted using quantitative genetic parameters. This study will generate hypotheses on adaptive traits and ecologically relevant genetic variation that will be tested in a common reciprocal transplant experiment. In this second experiment, we will transplant replicated clonal fragments of S. herbacea between low and high altitude sites and between micro-habitats within these sites, and measure the same set of traits as in the common survey. We will also test for phenotypic plasticity in and selection on these traits. To get an even more comprehensive picture of potential direct and indirect consequences of climate change on S. herbacea, we will in additional experiments test the importance of competitive and facilitative effects of neighboring species on growth of S. herbacea, the importance of soil micro-organisms for germination and seedling establishment, and study whether molecular marker and candidate gene alleles are associated with germination and early establishment. This will be the first comprehensive project on determinants of the current distribution of a dominant, long-lived, clonal, alpine shrub, and potential plastic and evolutionary responses of the study species to ongoing and future climate change. By collaborative collection and sharing of data, we will be able to address questions that could not be addressed by each researcher separately.