Special Issue "Plant Reproductive Ecology and Population Structure"

A special issue of Plants (ISSN 2223-7747). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Ecology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Ashley B. Morris
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Furman University, Greenville, SC, USA
Interests: Population genetics, reproductive ecology, and conservation of plants
Dr. Jon P. Evans
E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
The University of the South, Sewanee, TN, USA
Interests: Plant population dynamics, clonal growth, and conservation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Plants exhibit a diverse array of reproductive strategies that ultimately play a key role in defining geographic distributions, species boundaries, and responses to environmental change. Modern approaches to reproductive ecology can incorporate long-term demographic surveys, field- or greenhouse-based mating or pollination studies, and explicit tests of population genetic structure. However, integrative studies that include multiple modes of experimental assessment are often limited in both time and space, as a consequence of challenges associated with the completion of these physically intensive and fiscally costly projects. As a result, studies in plant reproductive ecology often represent brief snapshots in time and may not reflect a clear picture of long-term evolutionary potential in the targeted systems. While studies in plant reproductive ecology provide important baseline information for ecological theory, they also contribute to our understanding of rare species and threatened habitats, often providing much needed data for species recovery actions. Modern methods in field studies, genetics, and computational approaches provide new opportunities to explore plant reproductive ecology and population structure, and with this Special Issue, we seek to generate novel insights into what allows some plant species to persist and others to fail in the context of changing environments. We will consider papers that examine the mechanisms of plant population persistence and the ecological and evolutionary implications associated with these mechanisms. Topics to be considered will include adaptation and the importance of sexual reproduction, ramet and genet longevity, clonal growth, seed and bud dormancy, spatial genetic structure of populations, life-history constraints to recruitment, and the role of mutualisms. Of particular interest are studies that integrate multiple approaches (experiments, modeling, long-term demographic surveys, genetic analysis, etc.).

We look forward to receiving your submissions for this Special Issue.

Dr. Ashley B. Morris
Dr. Jon P. Evans
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Plants is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • plant population persistence
  • spatial genetic structure
  • clonality
  • population structure

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
Genetic Structure of Invasive Baby’s Breath (Gypsophila paniculata L.) Populations in a Michigan Dune System
Plants 2020, 9(9), 1123; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9091123 - 31 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 659
Coastal sand dunes are dynamic ecosystems with elevated levels of disturbance and are highly susceptible to plant invasions. One invasive plant that is of concern to the Great Lakes system is Gypsophila paniculata L. (perennial baby’s breath). The presence of G. paniculata negatively [...] Read more.
Coastal sand dunes are dynamic ecosystems with elevated levels of disturbance and are highly susceptible to plant invasions. One invasive plant that is of concern to the Great Lakes system is Gypsophila paniculata L. (perennial baby’s breath). The presence of G. paniculata negatively impacts native species and has the potential to alter ecosystem dynamics. Our research goals were to (1) estimate the genetic structure of invasive G. paniculata along the Michigan dune system and (2) identify landscape features that influence gene flow in this area. We analyzed 12 populations at 14 nuclear and two chloroplast microsatellite loci. We found strong genetic structure among populations (global FST = 0.228), and pairwise comparisons among all populations yielded significant FST values. Results from clustering analysis via STRUCTURE and discriminant analysis of principal components (DAPC) suggest two main genetic clusters that are separated by the Leelanau Peninsula, and this is supported by the distribution of chloroplast haplotypes. Land cover and topography better explained pairwise genetic distances than geographic distance alone, suggesting that these factors influence the genetic distribution of populations within the dunes system. Together, these data aid in our understanding of how invasive populations move through the dune landscape, providing valuable information for managing the spread of this species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Reproductive Ecology and Population Structure)
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