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  • Ceratodon purpureus

    Sex-specific morphology and physiology in Ceratodon purpureus

    Separate sexes and biased sex ratios are common in bryophytes, yet little is known about how fine-scale, sex-specific morphological traits are correlated with physiology and population sex-ratios. Slate et al. analysed cellular, leaf, and canopy traits and photochemical measurements in the dioecious moss Ceratodon purpureus. Male and female plants differed in cell, leaf and photochemical […] More

  • Origin of the arabidopsis accessions used in this study. The size of the circle reflects elevation.

    Intra-specific variation in Arabidopsis functional strategies

    Considerable intra-specific variation in functional strategies can occur within a single plant species. C-S-R theory was developed to classify functional strategies (competitive, stress tolerant, ruderal) in different plant species. Using a range of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) accessions from different geographic origins, May et al. test whether competitor, stress-tolerator, ruderal (CSR) theory can be applied to […] More

  • Variation in reproductive timing across Helianthus

    Whole-plant organisational traits and ecological strategies in sunflowers

    While trait-based plant ecology attempts to use small numbers of organ-level traits to predict ecological strategies, there is a major gap between organ-level ecophysiology and plant fitness in an environmental context. Bridging this gap are whole-plant organisational traits, including reproductive timing and biomass allocation patterns. Mason et al. explore the role of these traits in […] More

  • Open-pollinated family-level multilocus outcrossing rate estimates of Clarkia unguiculata (A–D) and C. xantiana ssp. xantiana (E–H) plotted against residuals from a multiple linear regression of photosynthetic rate on leaf node number and plant height measured in the field prior to flowering (open symbols) or during peak flowering (closed symbols).

    Variation in outcrossing and photosynthetic rates in Clarkia reveals independent evolutionary transitions

    Adaptive hypotheses to explain the evolution of self-fertilisation in plants are well-characterised, but alternative evolutionary pathways are underexplored. The mating systems and photosynthetic rates of some sister Clarkia have diverged in parallel, an evolutionary pattern that could have evolved through genetic correlations or as a result of independent transitions. Ivey et al. examine photosynthetic and […] More

  • Seed dormancy distribution and ecology

    Seed dormancy distribution and ecology

    In sea beet, Beta vulgaris ssp. maritima, seed dormancy largely controls germination timing, is highly heritable and varies geographically; climate might select for this trait. Wagmann et al. assess geographical variation for seed dormancy among 85 sea beet populations across the whole of France. Under controlled conditions, they find a highly variable proportion of seeds to […] More

  • Root traits and decomposition rates

    Root traits and decomposition rates

    Fine-root decomposition is an important determinant of nutrient and carbon cycling in grasslands, but little is known about the factors controlling interspecific root decomposition. By studying 18 Mediterranean herbaceous species from different life histories and taxonomic groups, Birouste et al. demonstrate that the potential decomposition rate of fine roots is affected by root chemical composition […] More