Research Topic

Global change, clonal growth, and biological invasions by plants

About this Research Topic

Global changes in climate, land use, nutrient availability, acidity, populations of harvested or undesired species, and concentrations of toxins are evident. Their ecological and evolutionary consequences are likely to be great but are often hard to identify or anticipate because of the multiple interactions ...

Global changes in climate, land use, nutrient availability, acidity, populations of harvested or undesired species, and concentrations of toxins are evident. Their ecological and evolutionary consequences are likely to be great but are often hard to identify or anticipate because of the multiple interactions that shape most ecological systems. One potentially important set of interactions involves the properties of clonal growth in plants. Clonal growth, vegetative reproduction in which offspring remain attached to the parent at least until establishment, is common in plants and in ecosystems around the world and appears to be associated with the invasiveness of introduced plant species. Emergent clonal traits such as resource sharing and signaling between connected plants within clones, selective positioning of plants during clonal growth, stores of energy or nutrients that can be reallocated between connected plants, meristem banks that can be initiated in response to clonal integration, and trade-offs between clonal and sexual reproduction might contribute to plant invasiveness and community invasibility, and global change may affect the expression, fitness effects, and evolution of these traits. This research topic aims to assemble articles dealing with two-way interactions between clonal growth and the spread of introduced plants or global change, or with three-way interaction between clonality, invasion, and change. Original research papers, reviews, and forums are welcome. Papers that do not explicitly test these interactions but do advance understanding of aspects of clonal growth likely to affect invasion or to respond to global change will also be considered. All manuscripts will be peer reviewed.


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