ecological approach to identify mechanisms & traits for optimised plant teams

Led by Christoph Scherber (WWU) and Lars Kiær (UCPH) the project will develop and apply a novel ecological approach to identify mechanisms and traits that optimise the performance of plant teams and provide scientific evidence for the effects of crop trait diversity on plant-plant and plant-environment interactions, based on field experiments across Europe.


2.1 Collate trait and species data of major crop and plant team species from across European pedo-climatic zones, based on stakeholder experience and covering a gradient in plant team diversity (two-species to multiple species);

2.2 Deliver species information and data on traits and plant team performance for modelling, in-field validation and curation;

2.3 Perform synchronized experiments on (i) stakeholder-driven and (ii) innovative cereal-legume and grassland plant teams across Europe;

2.4 Identify diversity-based mechanisms that optimize plant team performance in a range of environments, including prospective climate change scenarios;

2.5 Develop novel assembly rules for arable and grassland plant teams;

2.6 Develop user-friendly information packages for breeders and disseminate findings to the scientific community, stakeholders and general public.

The project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under agreement No. 727284.