Phenological physiology: Annual patterns of climate change resilience in temperate trees
Mon, November 14, 2022 • 3:30pm - 4:30pm (1h) • 141 Olin
We tend to take for granted that there are differences among species in their traits, including their resilience to the physiological stresses associated with our rapidly changing climate. At the same time, we also know that plants in temperate climates (like that of the Upper Midwest) display predictable, adaptive life-cycle changes over the course of a year; the study of these changes is called "phenology" and usually focuses on annual changes in leaves, flowers, fruit, and cones. Yet global change scientists tend to think of physiological resilience to climate change as temporally static and phenological observations tend to focus on changes in morphology. Researchers in the Grossman Lab study water relations and cold hardiness in model clades of temperate woody plants to study the extent to which interspecific diversity in the physiological traits underlying climate change resilience shift predictably over the course of the year. Our work toward "phenological physiology" is designed to help people who care about temperate trees and shrubs to take better care of them in a warmer and more drought-prone future.
Dr. Grossman is a plant ecologist and Assistant Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies at St. Olaf College.
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