eCite Digital Repository

From genes to ecosystems: a synthesis of the effects of plant genetic factors across levels of organization


Bailey, J and Schweitzer, J and Ubeda, F and Koricheva, J and LeRoy, CJ and Madritch, MD and Rehill, BJ and Bangert, RK and Fischer, DG and Allan, G J and Whitham, TG, From genes to ecosystems: a synthesis of the effects of plant genetic factors across levels of organization, Royal Society of London. Philosophical Transactions. Biological Sciences, 364, (1523) pp. 1607-1616. ISSN 0962-8436 (2009) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1098/rstb.2008.0336


Using two genetic approaches and seven different plant systems, we present findings from a meta-analysis examining the strength of the effects of plant genetic introgression and genotypic diversity across individual, community and ecosystem levels with the goal of synthesizing the patterns to date. We found that (i) the strength of plant genetic effects can be quite high; however, the overall strength of genetic effects on most response variables declined as the levels of organization increased. (ii) Plant genetic effects varied such that introgression had a greater impact on individual phenotypes than extended effects on arthropods or microbes/fungi. By contrast, the greatest effects of genotypic diversity were on arthropods. (iii) Plant genetic effects were greater on above-ground versus below-ground processes, but there was no difference between terrestrial and aquatic environments. (iv) The strength of the effects of intraspecific genotypic diversity tended to be weaker than interspecific genetic introgression. (v) Although genetic effects generally decline across levels of organization, in some cases they do not, suggesting that specific organisms and/or processes may respond more than others to underlying genetic variation. Because patterns in the overall impacts of introgression and genotypic diversity were generally consistent across diverse study systems and consistent with theoretical expectations, these results provide generality for understanding the extended consequences of plant genetic variation across levels of organization, with evolutionary implications. © 2009 The Royal Society.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Evolutionary biology
Research Field:Evolutionary biology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences
UTAS Author:Bailey, J (Associate Professor Joe Bailey)
UTAS Author:Schweitzer, J (Dr Jen Schweitzer)
ID Code:73636
Year Published:2009
Web of Science® Times Cited:197
Deposited By:Research Division
Deposited On:2011-10-19
Last Modified:2011-10-19

Repository Staff Only: item control page