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      Macrophysiology: large-scale patterns in physiological traits and their ecological implications

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      Functional Ecology

      Wiley-Blackwell

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          Heat-shock proteins, molecular chaperones, and the stress response: evolutionary and ecological physiology.

          Molecular chaperones, including the heat-shock proteins (Hsps), are a ubiquitous feature of cells in which these proteins cope with stress-induced denaturation of other proteins. Hsps have received the most attention in model organisms undergoing experimental stress in the laboratory, and the function of Hsps at the molecular and cellular level is becoming well understood in this context. A complementary focus is now emerging on the Hsps of both model and nonmodel organisms undergoing stress in nature, on the roles of Hsps in the stress physiology of whole multicellular eukaryotes and the tissues and organs they comprise, and on the ecological and evolutionary correlates of variation in Hsps and the genes that encode them. This focus discloses that (a) expression of Hsps can occur in nature, (b) all species have hsp genes but they vary in the patterns of their expression, (c) Hsp expression can be correlated with resistance to stress, and (d) species' thresholds for Hsp expression are correlated with levels of stress that they naturally undergo. These conclusions are now well established and may require little additional confirmation; many significant questions remain unanswered concerning both the mechanisms of Hsp-mediated stress tolerance at the organismal level and the evolutionary mechanisms that have diversified the hsp genes.
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            Plant Ecological Strategies: Some Leading Dimensions of Variation Between Species

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              From tropics to tundra: global convergence in plant functioning.

              Despite striking differences in climate, soils, and evolutionary history among diverse biomes ranging from tropical and temperate forests to alpine tundra and desert, we found similar interspecific relationships among leaf structure and function and plant growth in all biomes. Our results thus demonstrate convergent evolution and global generality in plant functioning, despite the enormous diversity of plant species and biomes. For 280 plant species from two global data sets, we found that potential carbon gain (photosynthesis) and carbon loss (respiration) increase in similar proportion with decreasing leaf life-span, increasing leaf nitrogen concentration, and increasing leaf surface area-to-mass ratio. Productivity of individual plants and of leaves in vegetation canopies also changes in constant proportion to leaf life-span and surface area-to-mass ratio. These global plant functional relationships have significant implications for global scale modeling of vegetation-atmosphere CO2 exchange.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Functional Ecology
                Funct Ecology
                Wiley-Blackwell
                0269-8463
                1365-2435
                April 2004
                April 2004
                : 18
                : 2
                : 159-167
                Article
                10.1111/j.0269-8463.2004.00825.x
                © 2004

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