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PhD Graduate Student in EEB Lead Author of Study on the Links Between Climate, Evolution, Plants and Soils

A mature, gallery forest of narrowleaf cottonwoods on the Snake River, Wyoming. Credit: Ian Ware.

A new study published in Global Change Biology and coauthored by researchers from UT, explores how climate, evolution, plants, and soils are linked. The research is the first to show how climate-driven evolution in tree populations alters the way trees directly interact with their immediate soil environment. Ian Ware, PhD candidate in UT’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology is lead author of the study.

As Ware describes the subject of the research, “Future climate change could reduce the potential for adaptation in plants, especially in less genetically varied populations. In order to cope with these stressful conditions, plants may be developing a stronger relationship with their soil microbiome and nutrients. It may be a mechanism for persistence in a changing world.” Find out more about this project at Tennessee Today.