skip to main content

Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Lau, Jennifer A."

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Microorganisms can help plants and animals contend with abiotic stressors, but why they provide such benefits remains unclear. Here we investigated byproduct benefits, which occur when traits that increase the fitness of one species provide incidental benefits to another species with no direct cost to the provider. In a greenhouse experiment, microbial traits predicted plant responses to soil moisture such that bacteria with self-beneficial traits in drought increased plant early growth, size at reproduction, and chlorophyll concentration under drought, while bacteria with self-beneficial traits in well-watered environments increased these same plant traits in well-watered soils. Thus, microbial traits that promote microbial success in different moisture environments also promote plant success in these same environments. Our results demonstrate that byproduct benefits, a concept developed to explain the evolution of cooperation in pairwise mutualisms, can also apply to interactions between plants and non-symbiotic soil microbes.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 8, 2023
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023
  3. Adaptation drives the diversity of form and function observed in nature and is key to population persistence. Yet, adaptation can be limited by a lack of genetic variation, trade-offs, small population size, and constraints imposed by coevolving interacting species. These limits may be particularly important to the colonizing populations in restored ecosystems, such as native prairies restored through seed sowing. Here, we discuss how constraints to adaptation are likely to play out in restored prairie ecosystems and how management decisions, such as seed mix composition, prescribed fire, and strategic site selection, might be used to overcome some of these constraints. Although data are still limited, recent work suggests that restored prairie populations likely face strong selection and that promoting the potential for adaptation in these systems may be necessary for restoring populations both now and in the face of further global change.