Adaptation Strategies in Wetland Plants: Links between Ecology and Physiology. Proceedings of a Workshop || Ecological Geneticsby Leslie A. Real

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  • Ecological Genetics by Leslie A. RealReview by: Tom HerbenFolia Geobotanica & Phytotaxonomica, Vol. 31, No. 1, Adaptation Strategies in Wetland Plants:Links between Ecology and Physiology. Proceedings of a Workshop (1996), p. 164Published by: SpringerStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4181429 .Accessed: 09/06/2014 22:08

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  • 164 Bookreviews

    resistant. Recuperation of the original vegetation was observed only on those plots where the silt layer had been removed. The plots under a silt layer were invaded in the first place by species with subterranean runners, especially by Phragmites australis. Some original species regenerated during the next four years, but most of the original communities occurred in "damaged" form.

    It seems very interesting that the indication values of vegetation (Zeigerwerte), based on the particular species, showed an increasing amount of nutrients in the soil after flooding, although according to measurements of soil samples and ground water this was not actually the case. The author attributes this to the low content of humus in the silt and the absence of competition. However, a very similar situation may be observed on other river alluvia. Soil analyses and silt layer samples from alluvial meadows regularly show a very low nutrient content, but the fertilizing effect on vegetation is quite pronounced. A better explanation is the dynamical process of rapid nutrient consumption by species very well adapted to alluvial conditions.

    Some objections may be made to the arrangement of the releves in the table - the position of repeated releves in various places according to the relevant syntaxon makes it difficult to follow the succession on one plot. Nevertheless, the study provides much interesting information and will stimulate further studies of the important, but often neglected, alluvial process.

    Denisa Blazkova

    Leslie A. Real [ed.]: ECOLOGICAL GENETICS; Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1994, 238 pp. Price USD 24.95, ISBN 0-691-00066-2

    This book has a peculiar structure: there are basically contributions from five authors (though some of the chapters are coauthored by other people); each of these authors wrote two contributions: one rather general, and one reporting a "case study" within the conceptual framework outlined in the general contribution. The chapter-pairs deal with gene flow in space (Montgomery Slatkin), evolution of phenotypic plasticity (Sara Via), neutral models (Michael Lynch), relations between population ecology and genetics in host/pathogen systems (Janis Antonovics) and ecological genetics of life history traits (Joseph Travis). Though the selection of the subjects is somewhat arbitrary, the book shows that, basically, there are two prime issues of ecological genetics: (a) interplay of population ecology (with fluctuation of the population sizes, spatial and metapopulation structures, etc.) with genetics and (b) environmental heterogeneity (with the evolution of generalists/specialists, phenotypic plasticity, etc.).

    There are two slightly controversial concepts which unite several chapters in the book: equilibrium vs. non-equilibrium, and phenotypic plasticity. Antonovics argues in both papers that host parasite systems may often be in non-equilibrium (and provides many aesthetically rewarding pictures of their potentially complex dynamics!); some other contributions are close to assuming equilibrium in their objects. This is done primarily for practical reasons (e.g. the gene flow can be then determined from the indirect data on genetic structure only), but this assumption is often difficult to test.

    Phenotypic plasticity is tackled in the chapters of Via and Travis. The reader may find the opinions of the former on plasticity evolution slightly partisan, but it is fully internally consistent and explicit to provoke further experimental tests. This is the field I believe plant ecologists will find most inspirational. The notorious plasticity which plants show at many levels calls for rigorous conceptual and methodological treatment. The literature accumulated in the past decade (and referred to in the book) seems to provide elements of this.

    The book does not attempt to provide a comprehensive account of the whole discipline (this is clear already from its structure) and it will not serve therefore as a textbook for those who need to get an encyclopaedic overview. Rather, it serves a much finer goal in providing an overview of concepts, and, even better showing nicely how these concepts shape research in ecological genetics. It may be much more important for students at the graduate level than the more comprehensive works.

    Tomas Herben

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    Article Contentsp. 164

    Issue Table of ContentsFolia Geobotanica & Phytotaxonomica, Vol. 31, No. 1, Adaptation Strategies in Wetland Plants: Links between Ecology and Physiology. Proceedings of a Workshop (1996), pp. 1-168+I-VIFront MatterWetland Plants as a Subject of Interdisciplinary Research [pp. 1-6]Whole Plant Adaptations to Fluctuating Water Tables [pp. 7-24]Pressurised Aeration in Wetland Macrophytes: Some Theoretical Aspects of Humidity-Induced Convection and Thermal Transpiration [pp. 25-36]Some Aspects of the Extreme Anoxia Tolerance of the Sweet Flag, Acorus calamus L. [pp. 37-46]Hormone Sensitivity and Plant Adaptations to Flooding [pp. 47-56]Content of Water Soluble Carbohydrates under Oxygen Deprivation in Plants with Different Flooding Tolerance [pp. 57-64]The Effect of Post-Hypoxia on Roots in Senecio and Myosotis Species Related to the Glutathione System [pp. 65-72]Factors Associated with Reed Decline in a Eutrophic Fishpond, Romberk (South Bohemia, Czech Republic) [pp. 73-84]Water Levels and Phragmites: Decline from Lack of Regeneration or Dieback from Shoot Death [pp. 85-90]Rhizome Architecture in Phragmites Australis in Relation to Water Depth: Implications for Within-Plant Oxygen Transport Distances [pp. 91-97]Does Ammonium Affect Accumulation of Starch in Rhizomes of Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. ex Steud.? [pp. 99-109]Carbohydrate Levels in Rhizomes of Phragmites australis at an Oligotrophic and a Eutrophic Site: A Preliminary Study [pp. 111-118]Effect of Nitrogen Over-Supply on Root Structure of Common Reed [pp. 119-125+I-II]A Role for Phytotoxins in the Phragmites Die-Back Syndrome? [pp. 127-142+III-VI]Sulphide Utilization and Injuries in Hypoxic Roots and Rhizomes of Common Reed (Phragmites australis) [pp. 143-151]Root Symbioses of Alnus glutinosa (L.) Gaertn. and Their Possible Role in Alder Decline: A Preliminary Study [pp. 153-162]Book ReviewsReview: untitled [p. 163]Review: untitled [pp. 163-164]Review: untitled [p. 164]Review: untitled [p. 165]Review: untitled [pp. 165-166]Review: untitled [pp. 166-167]Review: untitled [pp. 167-168]Review: untitled [p. 168]

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