, Volume 24, Issue 6, pp 1393-1397
Date: 17 Jul 2010

Clonal plants: beyond the patterns—ecological and evolutionary dynamics of asexual reproduction

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Abstract

More than 25 years have passed since publication of the first comprehensive multi-authored landmark volume on the population biology and evolution of clonal organisms (Jackson et al. 1985). Since then, no less than eight symposium volumes or special issues have appeared in scientific journals reporting on advances in the field of clonal plant research, indicating that the study of clonal organisms has remained an important topic in ecological research. The three most recent overviews were published in special issues of this journal (Stuefer et al. 2000; Tolvanen et al. 2004; Sammul et al. 2008), and these are now supplemented with a fourth special issue of Evolutionary Ecology. The articles published here reflect some of the most important contributions to a workshop on clonal plant biology held in Leuven (Belgium) in July 2009 and they illustrate some major advances that have been made over the last few years. In the following paragraphs, we first summarize some representative contributions to the current issue, and second, we put forward some personal ideas about promising and underexplored research lines in clonal plant research.