Adaptation of sub-Antarctic plants to climate change and soil-plant-dynamics and trajectories
The subantarctic Kerguelen Islands are subject to rapid and intense climate change as evidenced by recent data. If we are to conserve the unique plants of this region we need to better understand their potential to respond to these long-term changes. However, also the soil system most likely responds to climate change in these areas and the whole plant-soil system should be considered. Taking benefit of the previous Plantevol1 project, our new program addresses an enlarged interdisciplinary and integrative approach combining microevolutionary studies on intra- and interspecific variability and functional ecology of communities and soil systems. We aim to gain insights into the internal constraints of species for adjustment to the new environmental (physical, chemical, and biological) conditions as well as feedbacks of ecosystem functioning (dynamics of native plant communities) and retroaction on climate. We expect our combined evolutionary and functional ecology approach will provide a new perspective for assessing the adaptive potential of native plants in their integrated ecosystem.