A new field campaign on the temperature tolerance of the palms starts!

Since last September, we have been preparing a two-years experiment on the temperature tolerance of palms. In May, we will start our first measurement campaign!

The palm Trachycarpus fortunei is a very invasive species that colonizes forests of Ticino and Northern Italy. We try to understand which traits allow the palm to outcompete native trees, and how rising temperatures will affect its spread. To do so, we installed five experimental sites in three countries across a temperature gradient from cold to hot locations: Filisur (GR), Birmensdorf (ZH), Cadenazzo (TI), Montpellier (southern France), and Alicante (southern Spain).

We will compare the palm to two native species from Ticino, the holly (Ilex aquifolium) and the small-leaved linden (Tilia cordata) and expect the invasive palm to outcompete the two natives at each site, especially on the warmer ones! As the experiment is conducted for two years, our species will acclimate to their new temperature conditions, and we expect the palm to better acclimate to the new conditions than the two other species.