Séminaire de Keliang ZHANG (Yangzhou University) dans le cadre du cycle des Séminaires d'ECOBIO
Historic approaches to understanding biological responses to climate change have viewed climate as something external that happens to plants. However, plants can shape their microclimatic surroundings. What if this capacity of plants evolves under climate change? We hypothesize that ancestral climates select for certain heritable tree phenotypes, which in turn influence the descendants’ microclimate. In a common garden, we studied 7292 28-year-old pedunculate-oak trees descending from 115 provenances across Europe and quantified how provenance macroclimates affects the microclimate of descendant trees. We also measured 28 traits from 30 provenances and determined if such effects were mediated by plant traits. We found that ancestral climates can indeed affect the canopy temperature and cooling capabilities of their descendants. Among the 28 traits we measured, 21 were influenced by ancestral macroclimates, with 12 of them significantly affecting canopy temperature and cooling ability. Such relationships represent an eco-evolutionary feedback loop between climate and climate.