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Understanding the influence of daylight on plant functioning from leaf level to forest stands - A stable isotope approach


The light environment in forests is affected by climate change. However, it differs from other environmental factors, such as temperature and rainfall, whose change can be easily sensed by humans. Luckily, plants are good at detecting changes to both the quantity (amount) and quality (colour) of light. Light is able to regulate plant functioning, together with many other environmental factors. It is therefore of interest to know how a changing light environment could affect plant functioning and what mechanisms underlie these responses, especially when light interacts with other environmental factors. With the proposed research, we aim to: (1) ascertain the characteristics of the light environment of typical forests of the Swiss Alps and Finland; (2) better understand the combined effects of light and drought; and (2) illustrate how different single-colour regions of light and different combinations of colour regions with different light intensities affect plant functioning.