April 5 2016

11:00 158 Hershey Hall

Chase Mason
Arnold Arboretum, Harvard University

Exploring the role of growth-defense-reproduction trade-offs in plant ecology and evolution


As a plant evolutionary ecophysiologist, I am principally interested in how key plant traits mediate responses to diverse environmental pressures. Such pressures include abiotic factors like climate and soil fertility, and biotic factors like herbivory and disease. All plants face physiological trade-offs between growth, defense, and reproduction, and I seek to understand the coordinated physiology of the traits that govern these three core functions. Within plant ecology and evolution, I address questions related to this central theme in multiple systems across a variety of scales, from short-term physiological changes (e.g., during plant development or in response to acute stressors) to adaptive trait diversification among populations and species, as well as the genetic architecture underlying trait variation across these scales. This seminar will showcase recent and ongoing work in a variety of systems, including the wild sunflowers (genus Helianthus), diverse varieties of crop sunflower (Helianthus annuus), a global cross-section of diverse dogwoods (genus Cornus), and sixteen genera of temperate trees and shrubs represented in the collections of the Arnold Arboretum











































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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