Liu Lab

Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, CAS

Adaptive phenotypic plasticity


It is frequently assumed that phenotypic plasticity can be very advantageous for plants, because it may increase environmental tolerance (fitness homeostasis). This should, however, only hold for plastic responses that are adaptive, i.e. increase fitness. We use experimental studies and meta-analysis studies to test the importance of adaptive phenotypic plasticity on plant success under global changes, and assess which trait response to environment changes is adaptive.


Related Publications: Liu et al. ( 201320142015) Ecology and Evolution; Liu et al. ( 2016) AOB Plants; Liu et al. ( 2016) Annals of Botany.



Global change and plant invasion


Invasive alien plant species threaten native biodiversity, disrupt ecosystem functions, and cause large economic damage. It has been suggested that these impacts may further increase under ongoing global environmental change. Although numerous case studies involving local comparisons of a single or a few pairs of alien versus native plant species for differences in performance under global environmental change, it is still unclear the general patterns of plant invasion under global changes, and how do other global environmental change components affect plant invasion directly and indirectly.


Related Publications: Liu et al. ( 2016) Global Change Biology; Jia et al. ( 2016)Frontiers in Plant Science; Liu et al. ( 2018) Oecologia.


Environmental variability and plant invasion

Global environmental change not only affects mean environmental conditions but also their variability. It is frequently assumed that habitats with a high variability of resource availability will generally be more easily invaded than habitats with less variable resource conditions, as alien plant species are more likely to outperform native plant species under highly variable than under less variable resource availability. We use multispecies experiments to test the general patterns of plant invasion under environmental variability, and explain the mechnisms behind it.

Related Publications: Liu et al. (2017) Journal of Ecology; Liu et al. (2018) Functional Ecology; Liu et al. (2019) Functional Ecology

Plastic pollution

Comming soon......

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