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 Swetha Samuel, Joseph Braasch, Angélica González (faculty)


 Question: Are drought responses mediated by functional traits and habitat of origin? 

Hypothesis: Drought will affect the morphology, physiology, and phenology of plants, and we expect that these effects will vary across habitat types that differ in their aridity levels.

We predict that:

  • Physiological responses to drought will be greater than phenological or morphological responses, this is because physiological trait responses can manifest more rapidly and because growing new tissues can be energetically costly (Fig 2a).
  • The effects of drought on plants will be stronger for woodlands and forests and weaker for savanna and grassland communities, because plants from arid environments might have traits that are pre-adapted to drought conditions (Fig 2b). 

Alternatively, We predict that plants are similarly responsive to drought, regardless of the type of trait or their habitat of origin.

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