Functional Plant Biology Functional Plant Biology Society
Plant function and evolutionary biology

Evolution of plant water relations research in Australia

Functional Plant Biology 31(5) 405 - 414
Published: 02 June 2004


Ecophysiological research in Australia has focussed, at different times, on the fundamental similarities in function between all plant species, and on the peculiarity of Australian species with respect to their survival in stressful environments. Early work on plant water relations emphasised the differences between species, and indicated that diverse structural and functional attributes occurred in species from the same water-limited environment. Most recent research has emphasised processes that optimise rates of carbon dioxide exchange, but the understanding of functioning in plants with different morphological arrangements is incomplete. Variation in functions between individual plants and geographic populations in wild species has been examined to a lesser extent. The great variety within and between populations of wild plant species warrants further study for both understanding and more effective management of this biological resource.

Keywords: Australia, ecophysiology, plant water relations.

© CSIRO 2004

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