Progress and Promise in Plant Physiological Ecology

  • H. A. Mooney
Part of the NATO Conference Series book series (NATOCS, volume 7)


The study of plant physiological ecology has experienced an explosive development in the past decade. Work has centered primarily on those mechanisms by which plants acquire and utilize resources, particularly carbon and water and, to a much lesser degree, nutrients. Techniques have been developed for assessing costs and benefits of various organic compounds and plant structures; however, problems remain to be solved in this area. Various plant “strategy” groupings have been functionally characterized, although further refinements and extentions to tropical plants are needed. Methods for unraveling past performances of plants have been developed and are being used increasingly. The effects of biological interactions in structuring plant communities recently have received greater attention, particularly plant-herbivore and plant-pollinator interactions, and will be studied more in the coming years. However, further studies of the mechanistic basis of plant-plant interactions are needed.

In the years ahead, plant physiological ecology will be a strong contributor to many applied research areas extending from agroecology to ecosystem management. Further, physiological ecology will continue to serve as an interface between a variety of disciplines, ranging from molecular biology to ecosystem ecology.


Tropical Plant Photosynthetic Pathway Physiological Ecology Desert Shrub Ecosystem Ecology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. A. Mooney
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesStanford UniversityStanfordUSA

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