Institute of Evolution and Ecology (EvE)

Using plant Climatic Niche Groups (CNGs) to analyse global change field experiments

Within the Plant Ecology group here in Tübingen, by grouping plant species by their climatic niche (i.e. those species more commonly observed to be distributed in drier/warmer or wetter/cooler environments), we have been analysing species composition change in a number of field manipulation experiments around the world.

The novel yet intuitive CNG approach has proved to be highly effective at identifying the rate and extent of species composition change in response to global change factors for a number of different plant lifeforms: annual species, perennial plants and shrubs. Often when no net effects existed in overall community parameters (e.g. total density or biomass Tielbörger et al. 2014) CNGs could describe shifts in species associated with the manipulation themselves e.g. an increase in dry origin species in response to drought manipulation (Bilton et al. 2016).

The work is ongoing, and so far we have extremely promising results when analyzing datasets from:

Mark Bilton and Katja Tielbörger are active members of the ClimMani ecost action plan, which brings together scientists from all corners of Europe to share, discuss and collaborate on all research related to climate change manipulation experiments.

Main investigators: Mark Bilton & Katja Tielbörger