A Spatially Distributed Model System for Population Ecology

Ecologists predict populations to shift in response to global change; however, the data available for developing and testing movement and persistence models are spatially very limited. We could progress further and faster on this urgent problem if we could study many mapped populations and discern the mechanisms driving population change. Starting with Plantago lanceolata as a model system, we propose a co-ordinated effort to develop theory, supported by an awesome data set, on the abiotic and biotic drivers of population persistence and distribution. This is the launch of a new globally distributed project on spatial plant population dynamics.

Questions asked:

  1. What are the environmental and biological drivers of population persistence & extinction?
  2. How are global patterns in life history schedules influenced by the environment?
  3. What is the demographic function of functional traits?
  4. How do traits and demography vary in native and non-native ranges?

Distribution of PLANTPOPNET sites globally (n=53). Grey area is the geographic range of P. lanceolata as per GBIF, BIEN & Petitpierre et al. (2012). Points represent demographic studies in the Non-Native (yellow) and Native (orange) range of P. lanceolata. Genomic data (red) has been recorded at 38 sites. Information correct as of February 2018