Projekt

Daten zum Projekt

Kropotkin's Garden: networking beats competition in the struggle for limited resources (GRIN)

Zur Projekt-Website

Initiative: Außergewöhnliches
Bewilligung: 27.11.2018
Laufzeit: 3 Jahre

Projektinformationen

Natural root grafting could play a pivotal role in resource sharing among tree networks since it can be interpreted as collaborative behaviour as known for superorganisms. It will be necessary to survey systematically under which conditions resource sharing via grafting will be beneficial for trees instead of exploiting a limited resource alone. Logistic problems hinder the latter so far, since it requires a non-destructive mapping of grafted root interaction networks (GRIN) along gradients of resource limitations, as well as the quantification of the ecological benefits at the relevant time scales of the trees. These problems will be tackled by combining studies on plant physiology, functional anatomy, and ecological modelling. Mangrove forests and water transfer are chosen as an unifying example since: (1) mangrove roots are accessible providing a relative easy way to map GRIN on stand level. (2) Gradients of salinity and subsequent water limitation develop on manageable spatial scales. (3) Preliminary studies show that the frequency of root grafts depends on these gradients. (4) The field of tree water transport is mature, helping to build up well-tested concepts of water transfer through grafts, while testing their ecological consequences. The project seeks to answer the following research questions going beyond the chosen study system: Is root grafting an adaptive strategy for coping to harsh conditions or just a lusus naturae, unavoidable for neighbouring plants expanding in the same rhizosphere? Is the redistribution of water among grafted trees mutually beneficial or just a parasitic behaviour? What does beneficial mean at individual level (growth rate, fitness, and survival), group level and stand level (considering that grafted and non-grafted trees together form a stand)? Do trees control their grafting so that an optimal number of connections and a favourable topology of the GRIN can be identified for a given situation of water availability?

Projektbeteiligte

  • Prof. Dr. Uta Berger

    Technische Universität Dresden
    Fakultät Umweltwissenschaften
    Institut für Waldwachstum und Forstliche
    Informatik
    Professur für Forstliche Biometrie und
    Systemanalyse
    Tharandt

  • Dr. Guillermo Angeles

    Instituto de Ecologia, A.C.
    Ecologia Funcional
    Xalapa
    Mexiko

  • Dr. Thorsten Balke

    University of Glasgow
    School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
    Glasgow
    Grossbritannien

  • Prof. Nadezhda Nadezhdina

    Mendel University in Brno
    Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology
    Brno
    Tschechische Republik

  • Dr. Alejandra Vovides, Ph.D.

    University of Glasgow
    School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
    Glasgow
    Grossbritannien

  • Dr. Juergen Groeneveld

    Technische Universität Dresden
    Institut für Waldwachstum und Forstliche
    Informatik
    Tharandt

  • Dr. Jorge López Portillo, Ph.D.

    Instituto de Ecologia, A.C.
    Ecologia Funcional
    Xalapa, Veracruz
    Mexiko