Plant physiological ecology: Linking the organism to scales above and below

Evan H. DeLucia, James S. Coleman, Todd E. Dawson, Robert B. Jackson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Molecular genetics and the broader evolutionary view made possible by phylogenetic analyses, particularly when combined with the next generation of growth models (Pearcy & Yang, 1996), is bringing a new focus to organismal biology. With these tools in hand, physiological ecology is well positioned for further advances in the future. Genome sequences and other new molecular tools can be used to improve the understanding of plant biochemistry and physiology, and physiological ecologist could build many productive collaborations with molecular biologist to examine single and multiple gene responses and their interactions with the environment. Working up from the organism, physiological ecology now provides the mechanistic understanding of ecosystem fluxes. It is likely that plant physiological ecology will continue to grow along this axis, incorporating new molecular and biolchemical tools and extending the physiology of the organism to larger scales of the community (Bazzaz, 1996), the ecosystem and beyond (fig. 1).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-16
Number of pages5
JournalNew Phytologist
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001


  • Ecosystem physiology
  • Ecosystem processes
  • Global biogeochemical cycles
  • Organismal adaptation
  • Plant physiological ecology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science


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