Adaptation of the long-lived alpine shrub Salix herbacea to different altitudes and habitats, and its ecological and evolutionary responses to climate change.
Welcome to our Synergia Project Website. In this complementary research project we want to find out about the ecological, evolutionary and genetic components of adaption to microhabitats and future climate change of the dwarf willow Salix herbacea, in the mountains around Davos (Switzerland). Learn more about the Project, People, Field sites and visit our Pictures and Links.
This SNF-funded Sinergia-project is a collaboration between the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL in Davos, the Universities of Basel and Fribourg (all in Switzerland), the University of Konstanz (Germany) and the University of Uppsala (Sweden). The project consists of three sub-projects, each being carried out by a PhD-student from the respective universities:
All three sub-projects are tightly linked through common field survey and transplant experiments, which are located in the Swiss Alps near Davos. Results of the three sub-projects will provide an integrative perspective on assessing relevant ecological, genetic and evolutionary data in order to improve evaluation of climate change impact on alpine plant species.
Topics of the subprojects:
Plant Ecology: This project will examine how temperature, microclimate, snow conditions and competition affect the growth, demography and physiology of S. herbacea.
Evolutionary Ecology: This project will examine the heritability of plant traits, natural selection in different habitats, and the potential evolutionary responses of S. herbacea to climate change. It will also study the role of biotic interactions in constraining plant adaptation.
Ecological Genetics: This subproject will examine variation, selection and adaptation in S. herbacea at the molecular level. It will use population genomic approaches to study associations between molecular markers/candidate genes, ecologically important plant traits and habitat factors.
Julia Wheeler (Davos)
Christian Rixen (Davos)
Sonja Wipf (Davos)
Günter Hoch (Basel)
Janosch Sedlacek (Konstanz)
Mark van Kleunen (Konstanz)
Oliver Bossdorf (Bern)
Andres Cortes (Uppsala)
Sophie Karrenberg (Uppsala)
Christian Lexer (Fribourg)
Christian Scherrer (Zivil service), Annita Nussbaum (Master student), Danielle Franciscus (Summer school student), Anja Zieger (helper), Baschi (helper), Stephan Waeber and Jasmin Bregy (helpers).
Wannengrat: This Transect is accessed via Strelapass and the trail to Chörbschhorn. Most plots are found around Latschülfugga, with the highest plots located on the top of Wannengrat and Chörbschhorn. Several other experiments (e.g. winderosion) of the SLF are positioned in this area, what provides us with very accurate climate monitoring etc.
Jakobshorn: The highest plots are found on the top of Jakobshorn, which can be accessed by cable car from Davos Platz. The transect ranges down the slope towards Dischma valley, with the lowest plots located around the Stillberg hut. Here is the SLF experimental plantation of larch and pine trees and a cable car runs down to Teufi in Dischma valley.
Schwarzhorn: Fluelapass is the start of a popular hike to Schwarzhorn (3100m) and most of our plots can be found along the trail. It’s the highest of our transects ranging from 2300m to 2800m.