Abstract Detail

The evolution of functional traits in plants: is the giant still sleeping?

Mason, Chase [1], Medieros, Juliana [2], Caruso, Christina (Chris) [3].

The evolution of functional traits in plants: is the giant still sleeping?

In 2003, the International Journal of Plant Sciences published a special issue on the evolution of functional traits in plants. This special issue was motivated by the observation that the fields of plant ecophysiology and evolutionary biology were not well integrated, leading to mistaken conclusions about the adaptive nature of plant functional traits. The organizers of the 2003 special issue referred to the prospect of integrating ecophysiology and evolution as "waking the sleeping giant", and assembled a collection of papers to encourage the next generation of ecophysiologists to study the micro- and macroevolution of plant functional traits.  Now that 15 years have passed, is the giant awake, or still sleeping?  To answer this question, Chase Mason, Juliana Medeiros, and Chris Caruso are editing a new IJPS special issue and proposing a Botany 2019 colloquium on the evolution of functional traits in plants.The special issue and colloquium will highlight the progress that has been made, but also the gaps that remain in our understanding of plant functional trait evolution and the most promising modern approaches to address them. Focal topics will include (1)genomic mapping of functional traits, especially focused on performance curves, tradeoffs and trait networks; (2) phylogenetic comparative approaches for the study of the evolution of functional traits (including performance curves and multivariate traits), particularly approaches that accommodate phylogenetic uncertainty and phylogenetic networks; (3) the evolution of whole-plant cross-organ integration in resource-use strategies; (4) the evolution of whole-plant traits such as architecture and biomass allocation that are not organ-specific, and modeling approaches for understanding these traits and their relationship to resource use strategies; (5) intraspecific variation in functional traits and its importance relative to interspecific variation for understanding trait evolution, especially tradeoffs, evolvability, the predictability of evolution across scales, and the consequences for community assembly and ecosystem processes; (6) genomic approaches to understanding the genetic basis of microevolution in functional traits; (7) the evolution of functional traits in the context of biotic interactions, including microbes, herbivores, pollinators, and competitors; (8) the evolution of belowground functional traits, especially biotic and abiotic selective agents acting on roots (including the microbiome as an extended phenotype); (9) the effects of functional traits on plant demography; (10) modern techniques in quantitative paleobotany with respect to improved understanding of the evolution of functional traits; and (11) the role of functional trait evolution in crop physiology, including local adaptation and risk strategies under environmental stress. Relevance:A colloquium on the evolution of functional traits should be of broad interest to Botany 2019 attendees, as the interface of ecophysiology and evolutionary biology connects phylogenetics, genomics, physiology, population biology, community ecology, paleobotany, and agriculture. Colloquium talks will span a diverse set of perspectives and highlight a wide array of approaches to progress in the understanding of the evolution of plant functional traits. Colloquium speakers will be drawn from the diverse pool of researchers participating in the special issue; currently, seven invitees have agreed to submit papers, nine invitations are still pending, and there is an open call for papers on the IJPS website (https://tinyurl.com/ybv8j7p6). In selecting colloquium speakers, we will take into account gender, seniority, nationality, and other attributes traditionally underrepresented in conference symposia. We feel that a colloquium format will allow for the flexibility to showcase the largest number of diverse perspectives.

Related Links:
IJPS Special Issue Call for Papers

1 - University of Central Florida, Department of Biology, 4110 Libra Drive, Orlando, FL, 32816, US
2 - Holden Arboretum, 9550 Sperry Rd, Kirtland, OH, 44094, USA
3 - University of Guelph, College of Biological Science, 50 Stone Road East, Guelph, ON, N1G 2W1, Canada

functional traits
genomic mapping
phylogenetic comparative methods
intraspecific trait variation
resource use strategies
trait integration
biotic interactions
belowground traits
crop physiology
plant architecture.

Presentation Type: Colloquium Presentations
Abstract ID:13
Candidate for Awards:None

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