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Selected Publication:

Kramp, RE; Liancourt, P; Herberich, MM; Saul, L; Weides, S; Tielborger, K; Majekova, M.
(2022): Functional traits and their plasticity shift from tolerant to avoidant under extreme drought
ECOLOGY. 2022; 103(12), e3826 FullText FullText_BOKU

Under climate change, extreme droughts will limit water availability for plants. However, the species-specific responses make it difficult to draw general conclusions. We hypothesized that changes in species' abundance in response to extreme drought can be best explained by a set of water economic traits under ambient conditions in combination with the ability to adjust these traits towards higher drought resistance. We conducted a 4-year field experiment in temperate grasslands using rainout shelters with 30% and 50% rainfall reduction. We quantified the response as the change in species abundance between ambient conditions and the rainfall reduction. Abundance response to extreme drought was best explained by a combination of traits in ambient conditions and their functional adjustment, most likely reflecting plasticity. Smaller leaved species decreased less in abundance under drought. With increasing drought intensity, we observed a shift from drought tolerance, i.e., an increase in leaf dry matter content, to avoidance, i.e., a less negative turgor loss point (TLP) in ambient conditions and a constancy in TLP under drought. We stress the importance of using a multidimensional approach of variation in multiple traits and the importance of considering a range of drought intensities to improve predictions of species' response to climate change.
Authors BOKU Wien:
Herberich Maximiliane

Find related publications in this database (Keywords)
climate change
climate extremes
drought intensity
drought resistance strategies
leaf area
leaf dry matter content
rainout shelters
turgor loss point

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