A Spatially Distributed Model System for Population Ecology


New publication(s) alert! Congratulations to Jesus Villellas et al. for their paper "PHENOTYPIC PLASTICITY MASKS RANGE-WIDE GENETIC DIFFERENTIATION FOR VEGETATIVE BUT NOT REPRODUCTIVE TRAITS IN A SHORT-LIVED PLANT" published in Ecology Letters. You can find the paper at the link

And congratulations to our colleagues and Plantpopnet particpants, Melanie Morales et al. for their paper Validity of photo-oxidative stress markers and stress-related phytohormones as predictive proxies of mortality risk in the perennial herb Plantago lanceolata published in Environmental and Experimental Biology. The paper can be found at

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