Doctor Zineb Choury


Graduated PhD 2021

Thesis Title

Determining the acclimation capacity of Australian rainforest trees growing in warm and cool climates

Project description

Rainforests are predicted to be vulnerable to climate, because they occur in stable thermal environments. Currently, the physiological response of rainforest tree species to warming is unclear and poorly understood. Australian rainforests provide a great opportunity to investigate the temperature responses of rainforests across latitudes. The results of these comparisons will improve our understanding of suitable growing conditions for rainforest species in a future warmer world and may help assess the effects of global warming on the future distribution of rainforests.

My PhD project aims to study the physiological adjustments of Australian rainforest species to climate warming by comparing the physiological responses of species growing in warmer climates with rainforest species growing in cooler climates. More specifically, I will study:

  1. The temperature responses of leaf photosynthetic capacity and the underlying biochemical parameters in 12 rainforest species from different climates (i.e. temperate, subtropical and tropical climates) that will be exposed to warming treatments in a controlled environment
  2. How long-term warming treatment will modify the physiological performance of rainforest trees in response to future heat waves expected under climate warming. This aim will be achieved through a controlled environment experiment with an extreme 5-day heatwave
  3. The geographical variation in ecophysiological traits of coachwood (Ceratopetalum apetalum), rainforest species, to understand the influence of location‐specific environmental variables on physiological adjustments.

Choury Z, Wujeska-Klause A, Bourne A, Bown NP, Tjoelker MG, Medlyn BE, Crous KY, (2022) 'Tropical rainforest species have larger increases in temperature optima with warming than warm-temperate rainforest trees', New Phytologist, vol.234, no.4, pp 1220-1236

Noh NJ, Crous KY, Li J, Choury Z, Barton CVM, Arndt SK, Reich PB, Tjoelker MG, Pendall E, (2020) 'Does root respiration in Australian rainforest tree seedlings acclimate to experimental warming?', Tree physiology, vol.40, no.9, pp 1192-1204

Choury Z, Meschini R, Dell’Orso A, Fardusi MJ, Mugnozza GS, (2018) 'Optimized conditions for the isolation of mesophyll protoplasts along the growing season from Arbutus unedo and their use in single cell gel electrophoresis', Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture, vol.132, no.3, pp 535-543

Choury Z, Shestakova TA, Himrane H, Touchan R, Kherchouche D, Camarero JJ, Voltas J,(2017) 'Quarantining the Sahara desert: growth and water-use efficiency of Aleppo pine in the Algerian Green Barrier', European Journal of Forest Research, vol.136, no.1, pp 139-152

Kuzminsky E, Meschini R, Terzoli S, Pavani L, Silvestri C, Choury Z, Scarascia-Mugnozza G,(2016) 'Isolation of Mesophyll Protoplasts from Mediterranean Woody Plants for the Study of DNA Integrity under Abiotic Stress', Frontiers in Plant Science, vol.7, no.1168, pp 1-7


Dr Kristine Crous, Professor Mark Tjoelker, Professor Belinda Medlyn