Preprints

Filtering by Subject: Plant Sciences

Unexpected global patterns in plant vulnerability to climate change

Alexander Tomas Sentinella, William B. Sherwin, Catherine A. Offord, et al.

Published: 2021-11-10
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Plant Sciences

Understanding how species will respond to climate change is critically important for managing our ecosystems into the future. However, surprisingly little is known about the distribution of risk based on the actual thermal tolerances of species, especially plants. We used germination records from 776 species to provide a global map of plant warming risk – the difference between maximum [...]

Ecology and conservation of a living fossil: Australias Wollemi Pine (Wollemia nobilis)

Berin Dylan Ewing Mackenzie, Steve W. Clarke, Heidi C. Zimmer, et al.

Published: 2021-10-22
Subjects: Biodiversity, Biology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Genetics and Genomics, Horticulture, Life Sciences, Plant Biology, Plant Pathology, Plant Sciences, Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology

The iconic Wollemi Pine (Wollemia nobilis) is a critically endangered Australian conifer and one of the world’s rarest trees with only 46 mature individuals remaining in the wild. The species is regarded as a ‘living fossil’ and was discovered on the brink of extinction following a natural historical decline. While its discovery has enabled crucial intervention for its long-term conservation, it [...]

Anticipatory responses to drought by plants: What are the environmental cues?

Pedro José Aphalo, Víctor O. Sadras

Published: 2021-09-30
Subjects: Agriculture, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Engineering, Environmental Sciences, Life Sciences, Other Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Plant Sciences, Water Resource Management

This study is an attempt to reconcile the physics-driven variation in reference evapotranspiration (ET0) and possible sensory-driven anticipatory acclimation that contributes to tolerance of dry weather spells and drought by plants growing in open fields. We use an original data set measured at high temporal resolution. These data include the standard meteorological observations plus detailed [...]

Comment on “Information arms race explains plant-herbivore chemical communication in ecological communities”

Ethan Bass, André Kessler

Published: 2021-09-23
Subjects: Biodiversity, Biology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Entomology, Life Sciences, Plant Biology, Plant Sciences

Zu et al (Science, 19 Jun 2020, p. 1377) propose that an ‘information arms-race’ between plants and herbivores explains plant-herbivore communication at the community level. However, our analysis shows that key assumptions of the proposed model either a) conflict with standard evolutionary theory or b) are not supported by the available evidence. We also show that the presented statistical [...]

Cryogenian glacial habitats as a plant terrestrialisation cradle – the origin of the anydrophytes and Zygnematophyceae split

Jakub Dan Zarsky, Vojtech Zarsky, Martin Hanacek, et al.

Published: 2021-07-22
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Evolution, Life Sciences, Plant Sciences, Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology

For tens of millions of years (Ma), the terrestrial habitats of Snowball Earth during the Cryogenian period (between 720 to 635 Ma before present – Neoproterozoic Era) were possibly dominated by global snow and ice cover up to the equatorial sublimative desert. The most recent time-calibrated phylogenies calibrated not only on plants but on a comprehensive set of eukaryotes indicate that within [...]

Plant herbivore protection by arbuscular mycorrhizas: A role for fungal diversity?

Adam Frew, Pedro Madeira Antunes, Duncan D Cameron, et al.

Published: 2021-07-03
Subjects: Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Environmental Microbiology and Microbial Ecology Life Sciences, Life Sciences, Microbiology, Plant Biology, Plant Sciences

The symbiotic association between arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi and terrestrial plants can enhance plant defences against insect herbivores. Despite advances in our understanding of how AM fungi affect plant tolerance and resistance based defence mechanisms, we contend that the role of fungal diversity in these interactions continues to be largely overlooked. This is problematic considering [...]

Understanding plant microbiomes requires a G x E framework

Jun-Hee Jung, Frank Reis, Christina Richards, et al.

Published: 2021-05-21
Subjects: Biodiversity, Botany, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Environmental Microbiology and Microbial Ecology Life Sciences, Life Sciences, Microbiology, Plant Breeding and Genetics Life Sciences, Plant Sciences, Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology

Plant microbiomes have become one of the hottest topics in plant biology. Driven by the increased availability of metagenome sequencing methods, analyses of plant-associated microbiomes have been skyrocketing during the last decade. They have generally taken one of two main perspectives: (1) a focus on the microbiome itself, where researchers describe microbiome diversity and attempt to [...]

Using evolutionary functional-structural plant modelling to understand the effect of climate change on plant communities

Jorad de Vries

Published: 2021-05-18
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Plant Sciences

The “holy grail” of trait-based ecology is to predict the fitness of a species in a particular environment based on its functional traits, which has become all the more relevant in the light of global change. However, current ecological models are ill-equipped for this job: they rely on statistical methods and current observations rather than the mechanisms that determine how functional traits [...]

Comment on ‘Carbon intensity of corn ethanol in the United States: state of the science’

Seth Spawn-Lee, Tyler J. Lark, Holly Gibbs, et al.

Published: 2021-05-07
Subjects: Agricultural and Resource Economics, Agricultural Economics, Agricultural Science, Agriculture, Agronomy and Crop Sciences Life Sciences, Biogeochemistry, Earth Sciences, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Energy Policy, Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment, Environmental Policy, Environmental Sciences, Environmental Studies, Geography, Life Sciences, Oil, Gas, and Energy, Physical and Environmental Geography, Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Plant Sciences, Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Soil Science, Sustainability

Scully et al [1] in their recent contribution review and revise past life cycle assessments (LCAs) of corn-grain ethanol’s carbon (C) intensity to suggest that a current ‘central best estimate’ is considerably less than all prior estimates. Their conclusion emerges from selection and recombination of sector-specific greenhouse gas emission predictions from disparate studies in a way that [...]

Broad-scale Applications of the Raspberry Pi: A Review and Guide for Biologists

Jolle Wolter Jolles

Published: 2021-04-13
Subjects: Biology, Biotechnology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Plant Sciences, Social and Behavioral Sciences

The field of biology has seen tremendous technological progress in recent years, fuelled by the exponential growth in processing power and high-level computing, and the rise of global information sharing. Low-cost single-board computers are predicted to be one of the key technological advancements to further revolutionise this field. So far, an overview of current uptake of these devices and a [...]

Microbial effects on plant phenology and fitness

Anna O'Brien, Nichole Ginnan, Maria Rebolleda-Gomez, et al.

Published: 2021-02-27
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Environmental Microbiology and Microbial Ecology Life Sciences, Life Sciences, Microbiology, Plant Sciences

Plant development and the timing of developmental events (phenology) are tightly coupled with plant fitness. A variety of internal and external factors determine the timing and fitness consequences of these life-history transitions. Microbes interact with plants throughout their life-history and impact host phenology. This review summarizes current mechanistic and theoretical knowledge [...]

The diversity of plant sex chromosomes highlighted through advances in genome sequencing

Sarah Carey, Qingyi Yu, Alex Harkess

Published: 2021-01-30
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Plant Sciences

For centuries scientists have been intrigued by the origin of dioecy in plants, characterizing sex-specific development, uncovering cytological differences between the sexes, and developing theoretical models. However, through the invention and continued improvements in genomic technologies, we have truly begun to unlock the genetic basis of dioecy in many species. Here we broadly review the [...]

ausplotsR: An R package for rapid extraction and analysis of vegetation and soil data collected by Australia’s Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network

Samantha Munroe, Greg Guerin, Tom Saleeba, et al.

Published: 2020-12-15
Subjects: Biostatistics, Botany, Life Sciences, Other Plant Sciences, Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Plant Biology, Plant Sciences, Statistics and Probability

The Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN), Australia’s national land ecosystem monitoring program, measures critical environmental attributes from local to continental scale and generates quality data for research and land management. Since 2011, TERN has performed standardised field surveys and sampling across a national plot network. At each plot, TERN records vegetation structure, [...]

The photosynthetic pathways of plant species surveyed in Australia’s national terrestrial monitoring network

Samantha Munroe, Francesca A. McInerney, Jake W. Andrae, et al.

Published: 2020-11-23
Subjects: Life Sciences, Plant Biology, Plant Sciences

The photosynthetic pathway of plants is a fundamental trait that influences terrestrial environments from the local to global level. The abundance of different photosynthetic pathways in Australia is expected to undergo a substantial shift due to climate change and rising atmospheric CO2; however, tracking change is hindered by a lack of data on the pathways of species, as well as their [...]

Epigenetics and the success of invasive plants

Jeannie Mounger, Malika Ainouche, Oliver Bossdorf, et al.

Published: 2020-10-14
Subjects: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Evolution, Life Sciences, Plant Sciences

Biological invasions impose ecological and economic problems on a global scale, but also provide extraordinary opportunities for studying contemporary evolution. It is critical to understand the evolutionary processes that underly invasion success in order to successfully manage existing invaders, and to prevent future invasions. As successful invasive species sometimes are suspected to rapidly [...]

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