text by Lauri Laanisto
Because of the magical thing that happened last year to me (I got a personal research grant from Estonian Research Council) I am able to participate in this years ESA conference, which happens to be the 100th annual meeting of American ecologists. It´s my first time in the US and thus also the first time in ESA meeting. So far the biggest meeting I´ve attended had about 500 participants and here the number is nearly 5000 so that is another new aspect of my experience.
Moreover, I even managed to get a slot for doing an oral presentation. The study I will present there is about refuting the classical trade-off model by Smith & Huston 1989 between the drought and shade tolerance of woody species. The model says that this trade-off is quite strict because of the physicochemical constraints and woody species are not capable of tolerating both shade and drought as evolution cannot overpower physics. But the dataset consisting of nearly 50% all temperate zone woody species (more than 800 species) shows that there are actually many species that ignore these physicochemical limitations stated by Smith & Huston´s model. And their capability of polytolerating abiotic stress depends on the vegetation period length. I´ve also written about this study more thoroughly in this blog (link to blog post) and it´s now also published in GEB (link to paper).
Anyway, my presentation will be 8.00 AM on Tuesday, 11th of August in session COS 34 – Physiological Ecology II.