Climate change is causing extreme weather events to become more frequent and intense. Because these events directly threaten species’ persistence, understanding the mechanisms by which species will respond is critical. Rapid evolution and phenotypic plasticity allow species to respond to changes in environmental conditions and so may buffer the effects of extreme weather. The magnitude of these effects is, however, unknown. The aim of this project is to quantify the capacity of genetic variation and phenotypic plasticity on the persistence of freshwater plants subject to extreme weather. Findings will improve our ability to manage the capacity of species to respond to climate change and other rapidly developing threats. 

Supervisor: Dr Simon Hart