Floral Biology: Studies on Floral Evolution in Animal-Pollinated Plants

Springer Science & Business Media
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Studies in floral biology are largely concerned with how flowers function to promote pollination and mating. The role of pollination in governing mating patterns in plant populations inextricably links the evolution of pollination and mating systems. Despite the close functional link between pollination and mating, research conducted for most of this century on these two fundamental aspects of plant reproduction has taken quite separate courses. This has resulted in suprisingly little cross-fertilization between the fields of pollination biology on the one hand and plant mating-system studies on the other. The separation of the two areas has largely resulted from the different backgrounds and approaches adopted by workers in these fields. Most pollination studies have been ecological in nature with a strong emphasis on field research and until recently few workers considered how the mechanics of pollen dispersal might influence mating patterns and individual plant fitness. In contrast, work on plant mating patterns has often been conducted in an ecological vacuum largely devoid of information on the environmental and demographic context in which mating occurs. Mating-system research has been dominated by population genetic and theoretical perspectives with surprisingly little consideration given to the proximate ecological factors responsible for causing a particular pattern of mating to occur.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Springer Science & Business Media
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Published on
Dec 6, 2012
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Pages
410
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ISBN
9781461311652
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Language
English
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Genres
Science / Life Sciences / Botany
Science / Life Sciences / Ecology
Science / Life Sciences / Evolution
Science / Life Sciences / Zoology / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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This book takes the place of “Biology of Seagrasses: A Treatise on the Biology of Seagrasses with Special Reference to the Australian Region”, co-edited by A.W.D. Larkum, A.J. MaCComb and S.A. Shepherd and published by Elsevier in 1989. The first book has been influential, but it is now 25 years since it was published and seagrass studies have progressed and developed considerably since then. The design of the current book follows in the steps of the first book.

There are chapters on taxonomy, floral biology, biogeography and regional studies. The regional studies emphasize the importance of Australia having over half of the world’s 62 species, including some ten species published for Australia since the previous book. There are a number of chapters on ecology and biogeography; fish biology and fisheries and dugong biology are prominent chapters. Physiological aspects again play an important part, including new knowledge on the role of hydrogen sulphide in sediments and on photosynthetic processes. Climate change, pollution and environmental degradation this time gain an even more important part of the book. Decline of seagrasses around Australia are also discussed in detail in several chapters. Since the first book was published two new areas have received special attention: blue carbon and genomic studies. Seagrasses are now known to be a very important player in the formation of blue carbon, i.e. carbon that has a long turnover time in soils and sediments. Alongside salt marshes and mangroves, seagrasses are now recognized as playing a very important role in the formation of blue carbon. And because Australia has such an abundance and variety of seagrasses, their role in blue carbon production and turnover is of great importance. The first whole genomes of seagrasses are now available and Australia has played an important role here. It appears that seagrasses have several different suites of genes as compared with other (land) plants and even in comparison with freshwater hydrophytes. This difference is leading to important molecular biological studies where the new knowledge will be important to the understanding and conservation of seagrass ecosystems in Australia. Thus by reason of its natural abundance of diverse seagrasses and a sophisticated seagrass research community in Australia it is possible to produce a book which will be attractive to marine biologists, coastal scientists and conservationists from many countries around the world.

Salvelinus species are one of the most thoroughly studied groups of fishes. Many reasons explain this intense interest in charr biology. Charrs have a Holarctic distribution encompassing many Asian, North American, and European countries and occupy diverse marine and freshwater environments. Furthermore, the current distribution of charr includes areas that were directly influenced by climate and topographic change associated with the many Pleistocene glaciations. Undoubtedly, these conditions have promoted much of the tremendous morphological, ecological, and genetic variability and plasticity within Salvelinus species and they make charr very good models to study evolutionary processes 'in action'. Many charr species also exhibit demographic characteristics such as slow growth, late maturity, and life in extreme environments, that may increase their susceptibility to extinction from habitat changes and overexploitation, especially in depauperate aquatic habitats. This vulnerability makes understanding their biology of great relevance to biodiversity and conservation. Finally, charr are of great cultural, commercial, and recreational significance to many communities, and their intimate linkage with human societies has stimulated much interest in this enigmatic genus. This volume comprises a selection of papers presented at the fourth International Charr Symposium held in Trois-Rivières (Québec, Canada), from 26 June to 1 July 2000. It includes 31 papers on ecological interactions and behaviour, trophic polymorphism, movement and migration, ecophysiology and evolutionary genetics, ecological parasitology, environmental stress and conservation. These studies cannot cover all recent developments in the ecology, behaviour and conservation of Salvelinus species, but collecting them into a special volume should bring attention to current research on this important genus and stimulate further work on Salvelinus species.
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