Plant populations continually change over space and time. Many factors contribute to this differentiation with some resulting in evolutionary change. Unravelling the relative importance of ecological and genetic components of population differentiation is of paramount relevance to understand the future of plant biodiversity in a rapidly changing world. It is also critical that we determinethe pace and intensity with which differentiation is taking place. AoBP recently sponsored the ‘Evolutionary Ecology in Terrestrial, Aquatic Marine and Environments’ session of the SIBECOL meeting in Barcelona, Spain. In this session, the theoretical background of population differentiation was discussed in depth by Mohamed Abdelaziz, Antonio R. Castilla, and F. Xavier Picó, who will guest edit a special issue of AoBP on this topic entitled, “The ecology and genetics of population differentiation in plants.”
The goal of this special issue is to bring together observational, experimental and theoretical studies illustrating the process of population differentiation in plants and its underlying causes, but always considering ecology and genetics as two sides of the same coin. Submitted manuscripts can be more ecological than genetic or vice-versa. In this special issue, we expect to deal with a wide array of ecological and genetic factors accounting for population differentiation in plants, such as adaptive variation, phenotypic plasticity or physiological constraints, but also genetic drift, gene flow, migration, hybridization, epigenetic factors or polyploidy. Studies can focus on within- and/or among-population differentiation. There is no bias with regard to plant taxon (including ferns and algae), biome or biogeographical area. Contributions are expected to be hypothesis-driven, to develop their theoretical frameworks in depth and to evaluate the future research directions to be taken to advance their fields.
We will have three keynote papers in this special issue focussing on the following topics:
- The role of local adaptation in population differentiation from Jill T. Anderson, Department of Genetics, University of Georgia.
- Epigenetics and population differentiation from Conchita Alonso and Carlos M. Herrera, Department of Evolutionary Ecology, Estación Biológica de Doñana, EBD-CSIC, Spain.
- An experimental approach to quantifying trait differentiation from Tom E. Juenger, Department of Integrative Biology, University of Texas at Austin.
We are accepting submissions from now until October 1st 2019 so please spread the word and submit your work. Find out more information here.
The AoBP Mission
Remember, AoBP are a non-profit, sound science, open access journal. We aim to provide an outlet for plant-focused research without the biases that affect much of scientific publishing. Thus, we base decisions to accept or reject papers solely on rigor, clarity and substance, and we use double-blind peer review, concealing the identities of authors and reviewers during the review process. We prefer to leave judgments about the wider importance of papers to the scientific community.
AoBP is committed to simple and rapid processing of manuscripts and online publication of accepted works. Authors can submit their work as a single-PDF with few formatting requirements. We strive to provide initial decisions within 30–40 days of submission and our publication charge of $1350 per article is one of the lowest levied by any open-access journal in the biological sciences.