CLIMADAPT: Adaptation to past and present Climate Change in Arctic-Alpine Plants
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Maynooth University (Lead)
Tromso Botanical Garden (NO)
University of Fribourg (CH)
University of Colorado/INSTAAR (USA)
University College Cork (IE)
Plant Ecophysiology; Plant-Soil Microbial Interactions
Arctic-Alpine plants encounter intense selection pressure at their range peripheries. As the range and habitat suitability become fragmented during climate change events, local populations adapt to often very different local environmental conditions. Phylogeographic data indicate multiple phases of expansion, contraction and isolated evolution, revealing a potentially durable capacity to cope with rapid climate change.
With collaborators we are investigating past migration histories among members of the Caryophyllaceae Arctic-Alpine cushion plants, especially Arenaria ciliata and Silene acaulis. This involves phylogenetic and population genetic analysis of geographic genetic structure; evaluation of ecophysiological performance in experimental settings; and exploration of root-soil microbial interactions.
Funding to date: EPA/ Fulbright Commission; Science Foundation Ireland; Libyan High Commission for Education.
Climate Change; Arctic; Alphine; Adaptation; Vegetation