About the Project
i) Changes in temperature and precipitation have altered flowering phenology and the structure of plant-pollinator networks (e.g. diversity of pollinating species, strength of interactions etc.)
ii) Changes in temperature and precipitation have altered the quality of plant resources to the insect community, for example changes in nectar composition (influencing pollinators) and changes in leaf carbon:nitrogen ratios (influencing palatability for insect herbivores).
iii) Changes in plant-pollinator networks influence seed set and seed quality in pollinated plants, and assess if the direction and magnitude of these impacts are predictable from plant traits
The project’s focal system is the Buxton Climate Change Impacts Lab (BCCIL) a natural grassland ecosystem in which fully replicated plots have been exposed to more than 25 years of drought, warming and additional precipitation treatments alongside control plots. Our work has revealed climate impacts on grassland community structure, and that plant populations are adapting their phenology and reproductive strategy through phenotypic plasticity and evolution. The student will have full access to this world leading experiment where detailed field observations can be conducted and to plant lines that capture the genetic divergence generated under long-term climatic selection.
Applications (CV, letter of application, 2 referees) by email to [Email Address Removed] deadline: January 8th 2020. Interviews in or after the week commencing : 10th February 2020. Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed for only one project from the ACCE partnership.
Ravenscroft, CH, Whitlock, R and Fridley, JD. 2015. “Rapid genetic divergence in response to 15 years of simulated climate change” Global Change Biology, 21, 4165–4176.
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