Leander D.L. Anderegg
University of California, Berkeley, Carnegie Institution for Science
"Within-Species Physiological Variation as a Tool for Ecological Prediction"
Abstract: The rate and magnitude of human-made climate warming ensures that the ecology of the 21st century is the study of change. Yet our ability to project the future structure and function of ecosystems lags behind the pace at which ecosystems are already changing. My research explores how within-species physiological variation can reveal the constraints on higher order ecological processes such as species geographic range shifts. I use field measurements of within-species variation meshed with experiments and analyses of global trait databases to investigate questions about both fundamental plant physiology and ecosystem change in the Anthropocene. I will discuss my work showing how plants cope with climatic stress and the ecological consequences of plant physiological strategies. This work highlights key outstanding questions in plant ecology that my future research will target.