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Dr. Anderson Studies How Climate Change Alter Costs of Reproduction for Flowering Plant

north pole

new study from the University of Georgia sheds light on how plants respond to stressful environmental conditions presented by climate change. In a paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, researchers showed that plants grown in drier conditions simulating the effects of climate change exhibited higher costs of reproduction than those grown under current conditions. The findings offer clues about how plant populations might respond to climate change and could provide guidance for developing conservation strategies.

The term “costs of reproduction” refers to the idea that living organisms that invest their energy in current reproduction have less available to invest in future needs, such as survival, growth and reproduction. In low stress environments, where resources are plentiful, these costs may be negligible or difficult to detect. Under limited resources and more stressful conditions, however, these costs are often intensified, with pronounced negative effects on future survival and reproduction.

Postdoctoral researchers Elena Hamann and Susana Wadgymar—now an assistant professor of biology at Davidson College—and Associate Professor Jill Anderson of the Odum School of Ecology and the Department of Genetics, studied how drier conditions that accompany climate change alter costs of reproduction for Boechera stricta, a montane flowering plant in the mustard family.


Associate Professor, Ph.D. (2009) Cornell University

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