Full title: Mountain areas and their importance for the conservation of plant diversity in Central European grasslands
Many formerly common plant species of nutrient-poor grasslands have strongly declined in Europe in the last decades due to changes in land use practices and the use of mineral fertilizers, resulting in the destruction and fragmentation of these grasslands. In mountain areas the intensification of land use practices has only recently begun and many grasslands are still nutrient-poor and traditionally managed. Thus, while populations of declining plant species in lowland areas are often small and very isolated, the same species often still have large populations in mountain areas. These regions might thus be important reservoirs for the conservation of plant diversity and serve as sources for reintroductions. However, lowland and mountain populations of declining plant species may differ genetically because of local adaptation, the extent of which is currently unknown.
To assess the possible role of mountain regions for the conservation of regional plant diversity we will study the population genetics and local adaptation of Arnica montana, a characteristic plant species of nutrient-poor grasslands in lowland populations of Luxemburg and neighbouring regions in France and upland populations of the Vosges mountains using molecular markers, quantitative genetics and reciprocal transplant experiments.
Status of Phd
Supervisor at university: Prof. Dr. Serge Muller, Université Paul Verlaine, Metz, France.
Supervisor in Luxembourg: Dr. Guy Colling, MNHNL
PhD granted by the Luxembourg Ministry of Culture, Higher Education and Research. Duration: 01.07.2007 – 31.12.2008.
PhD applied at Fonds national de la recherche Luxembourg. Duration: 01.01.2009 – 31.06.2010.
Host institution: Laboratoire des Interactions Ecotoxicologie, Biodiversité, Ecosystèmes @ Université Paul Verlaine, Metz, France.
Department of Population Biology
Musée national d’histoire naturelle
25, rue Munster