New paper about plant trait variability in drought conditions


Our PhD student Slendy, together with her supervisors Carlos and Riin, published a new paper in Functional Ecology

Many regions in the world are expected to become drier in the future due to climate change, and more frequent drought periods impact not only crops but also natural plant communities. In their study, Slendy and her co-authors used a greenhouse experiment to explore how the functional traits of 52 grassland species change in drought conditions. They measured below- and aboveground traits of plants grown in drought and control conditions and found that species with small size and thick roots tolerate drought conditions better. Therefore all the plants are also more similar to each other. With the changing climate, plant communities are expected to lose a lot of their functional diversity and biomass productivity.

Rodríguez-Alarcón, S.Tamme, R., & Carmona, C.P. 2022. Intraspecific trait changes in response to drought lead to trait convergence between—but not within—species. Functional Ecology, 36: 1900– 1911.