My research topic is the impact of landscape changes on biodiversity, plant reproductive traits, and what are the effects of these changes on genetic diversity. I focus more on heterostyly – a genetically controlled floral polymorphism. In my doctoral thesis, I study Primula veris populations on western Estonian calcareous grasslands to find out how heterostylous species respond to habitat fragmentation and which evolutionary consequences this may have. I am also involved in the organization of the citizen science campaign “Eesti otsib nurmenukke” / “Looking for cowslips”. With the data collected from the campaign, I will study the patterns of heterostyly in cowslip populations in Estonia as well as all across Europe to assess the effect of landscape changes on this interesting reproductive trait. My supervisor is Tsipe Aavik.
- Aavik, T., Carmona, C.P., Träger, S., Kaldra, M., Reinula, I., Conti, E., Keller, B., Helm, A., Hiiesalu, I., Hool, K., Kaisel, M. et al. (2020). Landscape context and plant population size affect morph frequencies in heterostylous Primula veris‐results of a nationwide citizen‐science campaign. Journal of Ecology, 108(6): 2169-2183.