ID: 613 / 48

Category: Symposia

Track: Pending


Abstract: Genome size (the amount of DNA in the nucleus) is a key biodiversity character varying ~2,400-fold across plants. Genome size impacts plant ecology through its influence on nuclear, cellular, tissue and physiological phenomena, influencing where and how plants grow and how they respond to different environments, including to human-mediated change. With the analyses of increasingly large global datasets (e.g. for plant functional traits, ecological parameters and species distributions), there have been exciting and significant new advances in our understanding of the role of genome size in plant ecology. New activities have fallen into two key areas: (i) how genome size influences cell size and rate related traits such as water use efficiency and carbon acquisition, as well as nutrient demands, and (ii) how these relationships shape a species’ trait space and flexibility which in turn impact, for example, plant community composition, plant-animal interactions, species distribution and species survival across contrasting habitats and ecosystems. The goal of this symposium is to bring experts in these two research areas together at the IBC, to hear the critical new discoveries that have been made, and to forge new alliances to take the subject forward. The outcome will increase awareness of the importance of genome size as a key character in understanding plant ecology, and encourage its incorporation into models predicting ecological responses to global environmental change and hence conserve the future of plant biodiversity. To meet our goal we have invited three speakers who have committed to attend the IBC. The speakers provide breadth of expertise relevant to this symposium as they will give insights into: (i) the impact of genome size on plant functional traits , (ii) how genome size influences global plant distributions, and (iii) why genome size is important when considering plant survival and designing effective conservation strategies.

Speaker 1: Name: Adam Roddy Institutional Affiliation: Florida International University, Miami, Florida, USA E-mail: Tentative Talk Title: Fine tuning plants to the environment – a role for genome size

Speaker 2: Name: František Zedek Institutional affiliation: Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic Email: Tentative talk title: How and why genome size constrains the global distribution of plants

Speaker 3: Name: Marybel Soto-Gomez Institutional affiliation: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK Email: Tentative talk title: Interactions between ecological parameters, plant traits and genome size influence the threat of extinction – insights from a global study’

Topics (Up to three): Ecophysiology

Topic 2: Ecology and Plant Communities

Topic 3: Conservation Biology

Justification: The invited speakers and organizers comprise a broadly gender-balanced and geographically-representative (N America, UK and Czech Republic) group. In addition, the three invited speakers and two organizers span a range of career stages from the early career researcher, i.e., a recently completed PhD (Soto Gomez), a senior post-doctoral researcher (Zedek), an associate professor (Roddy), a Senior Research Leader (Leitch) and a full Professor (Bures). Representation from the LGBTQIA+ community is unclear due to lack of information. We hope to be able to expand representation from other unrepresented communities where possible through the prioritization of speakers from the submitted abstracts.