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British Wildlife is the leading natural history magazine in the UK, providing essential reading for both enthusiast and professional naturalists and wildlife conservationists. Published eight times a year, British Wildlife bridges the gap between popular writing and scientific literature through a combination of long-form articles, regular columns and reports, book reviews and letters.

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Conservation Land Management (CLM) is a quarterly magazine that is widely regarded as essential reading for all who are involved in land management for nature conservation, across the British Isles. CLM includes long-form articles, events listings, publication reviews, new product information and updates, reports of conferences and letters.

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Academic & Professional Books  Botany  Plants & Botany: Biology & Ecology

Plant Strategies The Demographic Consequences of Functional Traits in Changing Environments

By: Daniel C Laughlin(Author)
431 pages, colour photos, colour & b/w illustrations, tables
Plant Strategies
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  • Plant Strategies ISBN: 9780192867940 Hardback Jul 2023 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 6 days
  • Plant Strategies ISBN: 9780192867957 Paperback Jul 2023 Out of Print #260408
Selected version: £99.99
About this book Contents Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

How do plants make a living? Some plants are gamblers, others are swindlers. Some plants are habitual spenders while others are strugglers and miserly savers. Plants have evolved a spectacular array of solutions to the existential problems of survival and reproduction in a world where resources are scarce, disturbances can be deadly, and competition is cutthroat. Few topics have both captured the imagination and furrowed the brows of plant ecologists, yet no topic is more important for understanding the assembly of plant communities, predicting plant responses to global change, and enhancing the restoration of our rapidly degrading biosphere. The vast array of plant strategy models that characterize the discipline now requires synthesis. These models tend to emphasize either life history strategies based on demography, or functional strategies based on ecophysiology. Indeed, this disciplinary divide between demography and physiology runs deep and continues to this today.

The goal of this accessible book is to articulate a coherent framework that unifies life history theory with comparative functional ecology to advance prediction in plant ecology. Armed with a deeper understanding of the dimensionality of life history and functional traits, we are now equipped to quantitively link phenotypes to population growth rates across gradients of resource availability and disturbance regimes. Predicting how species respond to global change is perhaps the most important challenge of our time. A robust framework for plant strategy theory will advance this research agenda by testing the generality of traits for predicting population dynamics.



Part 1: Foundations
1. Perspectives on Plant Strategies
2. A Menagerie of Plant Strategy Models
3. The Dimensionality of Plant Strategy Theory

Part 2: Demography and Life History
4. Plant Demography
5. Life History Theory Applied to Plants

Part 3: Comparative Functional Ecology
6. Plant Functional Traits and the Multidimensional Phenotype
7. Plant Strategies Along Resource, Disturbance, and Temperature Gradients

Part 4: The Net Effect of Traits on Fitness
8. Empirical Approaches to Infer Fitness from Traits
9. Game Theoretical Approaches to Infer Fitness from Traits
10. Applying Plant Strategies in Conservation and Restoration

Part 5: The Effect of Traits on Demographic Rates
11. Plant Traits That Promote Growth and Enhance Survival
12. Plant Traits That Bolster Recruitment


Customer Reviews


Daniel Laughlin is an Associate Professor at the Department of Botany, University of Wyoming, USA. His laboratory develops quantitative approaches to understand and predict how plant species and communities respond to global change. He currently teaches courses in ecological modelling and vegetation ecology and is an Associate Editor of Ecology & Ecological Monographs.

By: Daniel C Laughlin(Author)
431 pages, colour photos, colour & b/w illustrations, tables
Media reviews

"This book is remarkable for the enthusiastic treatment of not only the critique of published ideas about plant strategies, but also the wide range of studies that underpin those ideas. The author seems equally at home as he reviews relevant findings (and gaps in understanding) in areas as different as plant morphology and physiology on the one hand and demography, evolution, and game theory on the other."
– Peter Grubb, Professor Emeritus, Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge, UK

"A stout-hearted trek through the rugged landscape of plant ecological strategies, species traits, and how they translate into demographic success in some settings but not others. The writing is energetic and richly illustrated; Laughlin must be a lively teacher! An excellent read for research students and discussion groups."
– Mark Westoby, Professor Emeritus, Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia

"This book is as rich in scientific knowledge as it is passionate about scientific history and the complexity of plant life on earth. With the aim to merge various concepts in plant ecology, the thought-provoking framework it provides will certainly stimulate research in holistic plant functioning. Furthermore, it is simply an absolute pleasure to read!"
– Joana Bergmann, PhD, Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), Germany

"Step by step, the reader is patiently guided and encouraged into conceptual thinking in plant ecology, inevitably leading to new hypotheses and ways of testing them in plants at different ecological scales. I specifically admire the tone of the book. When reading, I 'hear' the caring teacher sharing both the concepts and the personal stories beyond the ecology; the true excitement of the botanist discovering the secrets of plants; the experienced scientist leading us to the state-of-art of this field, and the connecting optimist believing that it is still possible to restore the plant diversity in our ecosystems. This is hardcore science, but in an encouraging and light hearted tone. This book is for the new (and old!) generations of students in plant science and ecology! I am deeply impressed."
– Liesje Mommer, Professor of Plant Ecology and Nature Conservation, Wageningen University, The Netherlands

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