Graduate Research School For Candidates Prospective Candidates Available Projects Are mountain-top endemic plants constrained in their distributions by physiology?

Are mountain-top endemic plants constrained in their distributions by physiology?

Title of Project

Are mountain-top endemic plants constrained in their distributions by physiology?

Name of Advisor/s

Lucas Cernusak

College

College of Science & Engineering

Summary of Project

Bioclimatic modelling has suggested that a number of tropical plant species endemic to mountaintops in northeastern Queensland may be at risk of extinction under climate change due to contraction of their climatic niches.  This assumes that their current distributions are limited by climatic factors, and that their potential to acclimate to future climate regimes is limited.  However, little is known about the physiological plasticity of tropical mountaintop species, especially with respect to their thermal tolerances and acclimation potentials.  Are the current distributions of mountaintop taxa primarily determined by physiological constraints associated with climatic factors?  Answering this question is critical for accurately predicting their likely fates under climate change, and for making informed management decisions.

Key Words

tropical mountains, plant physiology

Would suit an applicant who

Has an interest in tropical plants