A modular concept of plant foraging behaviour: the interplay between local responses and systemic control

De Kroon, Hans, Visser, Eric J W, Huber, Heidrun, Mommer, Liesje and Hutchings, Michael J (2009) A modular concept of plant foraging behaviour: the interplay between local responses and systemic control. Plant, Cell and Environment, 32 (6). pp. 704-712. ISSN 0140-7791

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Abstract

In this paper we examined the notion that plant foraging for resources in heterogeneous environments must involve: (1) plasticity at the level of individual modules in reaction to localized environmental signals; and (2) the potential for modification of these responses either by the signals received from connected modules that may be exposed to different conditions, or by the signals reflecting the overall resource status of the plant. A conceptual model is presented to illustrate how plant foraging behaviour is achieved through these processes acting in concert, from the signal reception through signal transduction to morphological or physiological response. Evidence to support the concept is reviewed, using selective root placement under nutritionally heterogeneous conditions and elongation responses of stems and petioles to shade as examples. We discussed how the adoption of this model can promote understanding of the ecological significance of foraging behaviour. We also identified a need to widen the experimental repertoires of both molecular physiology and ecology in order to increase our insight into both the regulation and functioning of foraging responses, and their relationship with the patterns of environmental heterogeneity under which plants have evolved.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Biology and Environmental Science
Depositing User: Michael Hutchings
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 18:34
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2012 17:00
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/17181
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