9th Clonal Plant Workshop

Venue: Leuven

Location: Leuven, Belgium

Event Date/Time: Jul 01, 2009 End Date/Time: Jul 04, 2009
Registration Date: May 01, 2009
Abstract Submission Date: May 01, 2009
Paper Submission Date: May 01, 2009
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We think of clonal plants as static, immortal species that have found the wonderful elixir of keeping young forever, sought after so desperately by many in the past. However, nature seems to play a dirty trick on clonal plants and in the end clonal plants may be not as immortal as previously thought.

Little is known, however, of the ecological, population genetic and evolutionary dynamics of clonal plant species. One can expect that clonal growth may substantially increase the expected life span of plant species, but few studies have described in detail the population dynamics of clonal plant species. What are the factors that determine the spatial and temporal dynamics of clonal plant species? Are clonal plant species more resistant to disturbance and genetic impoverishment through habitat fragmentation?

On a wider time-scale, the evolutionary dynamics of clonal growth have received even less attention. Why have about 70 % of all species developed some form of clonal growth? Why are not all plant species clonal? Have clonality and self-incompatibility co-evolved to avoid geitonogameous pollination and inbreeding?

To fill the research gaps, the 9th Clonal Plant Workshop intends to bring together all ecologists and evolutionary biologists that have specifically studied the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of clonal plant species. These workshops have a long tradition going back to 1982, when the first Clonal Plant Workshop was organized at Yale University. They are attended by specialists from all over the world. The 9th Clonal Plant Workshop will be held in Leuven between the 1st and 4th of July 2009. It will provide a unique opportunity to discuss the dynamic nature of clonal plants in a pleasant environment.