Approaches to Plant Evolutionary Ecology

ISBN : 9780199988327

G. P. Cheplick
312 Pages
162 x 237 mm
Pub date
Sep 2015
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Plant evolutionary ecology is a rapidly growing discipline which emphasizes that populations adapt and evolve not in isolation, but in relation to other species and abiotic environmental features such as climate. Although it departs from traditional evolutionary and ecological fields of study, the field is connected to branches of ecology, genetics, botany, conservation, and to a number of other fields of applied science, primarily through shared concepts and techniques. However, most books regarding evolutionary ecology focus on animals, creating a substantial need for scholarly literature with an emphasis on plants. Approaches to Plant Evolutionary Ecology is the first book to specifically explore the evolutionary characteristics of plants, filling the aforementioned gap in the literature on evolutionary ecology. Renowned plant ecologist Gregory P. Cheplick summarizes and synthesizes much of the primary literature regarding evolutionary ecology, providing a historical context for the study of plant populations from an evolutionary perspective. The book also provides summaries of both traditional (common gardens, reciprocal transplants) and modern (molecular genetic) approaches used to address questions about plant adaptation to a diverse group of abiotic and biotic factors. Cheplick provides a rigorously-written introduction to the rapidly growing field of plant evolutionary ecology that will appeal to undergraduate and graduate students with an interest in ecology and evolution, as well as educators who are teaching courses on related topics.


1. The Domain of Evolutionary Ecology
1.1 Introduction: The individual in ecology and evolution
1.2 Plant evolutionary ecology
1.3 The time scale of evolutionary ecology
1.4 Principles and general themes of evolutionary ecology
2. Natural Selection in the Plant Population
2.1 Natural selection as a population attribute
2.1.1 Classifying the agents of selection
2.1.2 Natural selection as cause vs. effect
2.1.3 How natural selection causes microevolution
2.1.4 The meaning of genotype by environment interactions
2.1.5 Can selection occur without an external agent?
2.1.6 Internal agents and the evolutionary role of development
2.2 Allelic, genotypic, and phenotypic selection
2.2.1 The classic case of Avena barbata
2.2.2 Deviations from Hardy-Weinberg expectations
2.2.3 Selection analysis of quantitative traits
2.2.4 Experimental approaches to natural selection
2.3 Natural selection in plants: what have we learned?
3. The Common Garden Approach
3.1 Introduction
3.2 Single common garden, no environmental factors varied
3.3 Multiple common gardens, no environmental factors varied
3.4 Single or multiple common gardens, one or more environmental factors varied
3.5 Natural selection in the common garden
3.6 Questions and considerations in using common garden experiments
3.7 Utility and applications of the common garden approach
4. Reciprocal Transplant Experiments
4.1 Introduction
4.2 A brief aside on adaptation
4.3 Testing hypotheses with the standard design
4.4 Diversity of reciprocal transplant approaches
4.4.1 Modification and expansion of reciprocal transplant designs
4.4.2 Long-term experiments
4.5 Selection coefficients and selection gradients
4.6 Reasons for the lack of local adaptation
4.7 Reciprocal transplant experiments: where to from here?
5. Molecular Approaches
5.1 Introduction: what is molecular ecology?
5.2 Molecular genetic variation within and between populations
5.2.1 Allozymes
5.2.2 DNA markers
5.2.3 Life history traits and molecular variation
5.2.4 Comparisons of population differentiation: molecular markers vs. quantitative traits
5.3 Molecular approaches to studying selection and adaptation
5.3.1 Correlations of molecular markers with environmental variables
5.3.2 The molecular genetic basis of adaptation
5.4 Other uses of molecular markers
5.4.1 Gene flow
5.4.2 Fine-scale genetic structure
5.4.3 Hybridization
5.5 Wrap up
6. Abiotic Agents of Selection
6.1 Introduction
6.2 Edaphic factors
6.2.1 Population responses to distinct soil types
6.2.2 Metalliferous soils
6.3 Climatic factors
6.3.1 Temperature
6.3.2 Precipitation, drought, and soil water
6.3.3 Climate change
6.4 Other abiotic factors
6.4.1 Light
6.4.2 Salt
6.5 Wrap up
7. Biotic Interactions. I. Competition & Facilitation
7.1 The ubiquity of biotic interactions
7.2 Competition and competitive ability
7.3 Genetic variation in competitive ability
7.4 Differentiation, local adaptation, and competition
7.4.1 Genetic differentiation
7.4.2 Reciprocal transplants and local adaptation
7.4.3 Fine-scale adaptation to neighbors
7.5 Genotypic interactions and competitive outcomes
7.5.1 Genetic relatedness and intraspecific competition
7.5.2 Sibling competition and kin selection
7.6 Selection experiments
7.7 Other genetic aspects of competition
7.8 Allelopathy
7.9 Facilitation
7.10 Wrap up
8. Biotic Interactions. II. Microbial Symbiosis
8.1 The ubiquity of plant-microbe interactions
8.2 Parasites/pathogens
8.2.1 Genetic variation in host resistance
8.2.2 Local adaptation
8.2.3 Host sexual reproduction
8.3 Rhizobial bacteria
8.4 Mycorrhizae
8.5 Systemic leaf endophytes
8.5.1 Genetic variation in host response
8.5.2 Local adaptation
8.6 Wrap up
9. Biotic Interactions. III. Animals
9.1 Animals as agents of natural selection
9.2 Herbivory
9.2.1 Quantitative genetic variation and selection for resistance and tolerance
9.2.2 Selection on quantitative candidate traits
9.2.3 Plant adaptation
9.2.4 Molecular genetic approaches
9.3 Pollination
9.3.1 Genetic variation in floral traits
9.3.2 Pollinator-mediated selection
9.3.3 Floral adaptation
9.3.4 Molecular genetic tools
9.4 Fruit and seed dispersal
9.4.1 Selection mediated by fruit consumers
9.4.2 Molecular genetic tools
9.5 Wrap up
10.Future Directions
10.1 A few predictions
10.2 More than a few questions
10.2.1 Natural selection and adaptation
10.2.2 Biotic interactions

About the author: 

Gregory P. Cheplick, Ph.D. Professor of Biology, is a plant ecologist at the College of Staten Island, City University of New York. His research is on the population biology of herbaceous plants, including grasses and their fungal endophytes, in relation to abiotic and biotic conditions.

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