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Grasses occupy a greater area of the world’s land surface than any other plant family, occurring in almost every terrestrial environment and providing a vital source of food for humans and animals. This volume presents the most recent information on their population biology, bringing together contributions from researchers studying both applied and fundamental aspects of this important group of plants. Demographic, physiological, ecological and molecular approaches to understanding grass populations are considered in relation to reproduction and to aspects of life history patterns such as dispersal, germination, seedling establishment, population dynamics and reproduction. Other areas covered include the role of genetic variation and phenotypic plasticity in shaping life history traits, the impact of biotic factors, and the ecology of specific species in major grass-dominated ecosystems in Africa, Australia and Japan.
• An up-to-date synthesis of the population biology of an economically and ecologically important group of plants • Encompasses both basic and applied aspects of grass population research • Includes a diversity of approaches, spanning ecological, physiological and molecular studies
Contributors; Preface; Darwin revisited: approaches to the ecological study of grasses A. D. Bradshaw; Part I. Population Variation and Life History Patterns: 1. Allozyme diversity in the grasses M. J. W. Godt and J. L. Hamrick; 2. Ecology of seed dormancy and germination in grasses C. C. Baskin and J. M. Baskin; 3. Seed dispersal and seedling establishment in grass populations G. P. Cheplick; 4. Clonal biology of caespitose grasses D. D. Briske and J. D. Derner; 5. Ecological aspects of sex expression in grasses J. A. Quinn; 6. Interspecific variation in plasticity of grasses in response to nitrogen supply E. Garnier; 7. Population biology of intraspecific polyploidy in grasses K. H. Keeler; Part II. Ecological Interactions; 8. Plant-plant interactions in grasses and grasslands W. K. Lauenroth and M. O. Aguilera; 9. Competition between grasses and woody plants S. D. Wilson; 10. Fungal endophyte infection and the population dynamics of grasses K. Clay; 11. Arbuscular mycorrhizas and the population biology of grasses K. K. Newsham and A. R. Watkinson; Part III. Population Biology of Specific Groups: 12. Population dynamics in the regeneration process of monocarpic dwarf bamboos, Sasa species A. Makita; 13. Population dynamics of perennial grasses in African savanna and grassland T. G. O'Connor and T. M. Everson; 14. A life cycle approach to the population ecology of two tropical grasses in Queensland, Australia D. M. Orr; Index.