The working group Plant Ecophysiology studies specialized traits of plants, which allow them to colonize and survive in stressful habitats. Methodologically, we use a wide spectrum from plant molecular biology, classical biochemical and physiological, biophysical techniques to ecological experiments in common garden or field experimental setups. We focus on the physiological acclimation and genetic adaptation of the photosynthetic apparatus to stressful abiotic conditions, i.e. extreme temperatures and drought.
Our model systems include cereals (wild and cultivated barley, millets of C3 and C4 photosynthesis type) and forest trees (European evergreen and deciduous oaks). We chose species of economic relevance, which are prone to challenges by climate change, i.e. cereals from drought-exposed Mediterranean/North African origin, and oaks from Central and Southern Europe, which have the potential for replacing present-day forest species in the future.