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Daylight and climate change


Do evolutionary constraints on photoperiod and circadian clocks hinder adaptation and acclimation of plants to climate change?

Global climate change is affecting the area of distribution of plant species resulting in migration to higher altitudes and latitudes. However, plants are also bound to daylight rhythmicity, both on a diel and seasonal scale, and this might hamper species distribution under, and fast acclimation to, rapid environmental change. It may thus happen that the potential distribution range of a species"defined by temperature and precipitation"moves north due to climate change, but that the photoperiod cues at this new latitude do not match the evolutionary demands of that species. With this project, we will provide the mechanistic basis and a conceptual framework to understand how climatic and daylight/photoperiod cues jointly affects tree functioning. With this information, we will provide a better basis to project plant species distribution and functions in a changing climate