Go belowground!

The Department of Functional Ecology, Institute of Botany, Czech Academy of Sciences organizes

PhD course of functional ecology „Go belowground!“

25 – 30 September 2017


The course will be focused on theoretical background and practical assessment of plant functional traits which can be found on belowground plant organs in temperate herbs. This concerns description and analysis of clonal, bud bank and plant life–history traits using methods of plant morphology, architecture and anatomy. The course will be composed of lectures and practical mini-projects allowing to apply taught methods.  The course will be held in Penzion Kaminek close to Nove Hrady in South Bohemia.

Cost 500 Euro (accommodation, food, travel to field, lab material)



Jitka Klimešová, Jiří Doležal, Jana Martínková, Jan Altman

Course description: The course starts with lectures presenting last developments in understanding of ecological functions of belowground plant traits which are mostly overlooked in contemporary functional ecology. Introduced topics: plant form and function, plant architecture as demographical constraint, clonal traits and environmental gradients, bud bank and disturbance, anatomical traits in herb roots. The lectures are accompanied by field excursions, plant sampling and trait assessment in laboratory. Methods of functional traits assessment which are presented include: clonal and bud bank traits, herb-chronological analysis using morphological and anatomical markers, and plant age assessment. Mini-projects are organized for small groups of participants with aim to provide all participants an opportunity to practice all methods. We also plan that after putting all results from miniproject together we will able to answer some simple ecological question, for example how belowground plant traits change along moisture gradient.


Information for participants here

The course is supported by The Czech Academy of Sciences