• Ecology & Evolution

    Ecology & Evolution

Our research in the area of Ecology and Evolution aims to address several important questions and uses a host of approaches and techniques to achieve this. Most labs use multidisciplinary approaches spanning several areas such as molecular techniques, quantitative methods, GIS, laboratory experimentation on organism development and physiology, population dynamics, genetic analyses as well as satellite imagery.

Susan Dudley
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LSB 225
(905) 525-9140 ext. 24004

Plant interactions with other plants My current research focuses on plant communication and behaviour, including plant kin recognition. Plants live in highly social environments, and they do behave, though very slowly. Plants sense the presence of other plants, and then respond, usually by producing a more competitive phenotype. Responses to cues of neighbours are thus important in competition. My lab has worked on plant responses to aboveground cues, the presence/absence of belowground neighbours, and the relatedness of belowground neighbours. We collaborate with Dr. Harsh Bais, University of Delaware, on research into the underlying mechanisms for responses to relatives. Adaptation to abiotic stresses My research program on the evolution of plant carbon acquisition traits has included studies that integrate the physiological ecology of drought stress with the natural selection on drought stress traits, and genetic differentiation between populations from environments differing in water availability. A former student, Laura Beaton developed a research program on adaptation of plants to roadside stresses, including salinity and manganese. I collaborate with Dr. Lisa Donovan, University of Georgia, in understanding how plant physiological traits evolve under stress.

Ecology & Evolution

  • Champigny MJ, Sung WW, Catana V, Salwan R, Summers PS, Dudley SA, Provart NJ, Cameron RK, Golding GB, Weretilnyk EA. (2013) RNA-Seq effectively monitors gene expression in Eutrema salsugineum plants growing in an extreme natural habitat and in controlled growth cabinet conditions. BMC Genomics 14:578.
  • File AL, Klironomos J, Maherali H, and Dudley SA. (2012) Plant kin recognition enhances abundance of symbiotic microbial partner. PLoS One 7:e45648
  • File AL, Murphy GP, Dudley SA. (2012) Fitness consequences of plants growing with siblings: reconciling kin selection, niche partitioning and competitive ability. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 279:209-18
  • Bhatt, Mudra, Khandelwal, Aditi, Dudley, S. A. 2011. Kin recognition, not competitive interactions, predicts root allocation in young Cakile edentulaseedling pairs. New Phytologist 189: 1135-1142 (NSERC grant to SAD)
  • Beaton, L. L. and Dudley, S. A. 2010.  Maternal effects and drought tolerance determine seedling establishment success in a common roadside plant,Dipsacus fullonum subsp sylvestris.  Botany 88:930-936.
  • Donovan, L. A., F. Ludwig, D. M. Rosenthal, L. H. Rieseberg, and Dudley, S. A. 2009. Phenotypic Selection on Leaf Ecophysiological Traits in Helianthus. New Phytologist 183: 868-879.
  • Biedrzycki, M. L., Jilany, T.A., Dudley, S. A., and Bais, H.P. 2010. Root exudates mediate kin recognition in plants. Communicative and Integrative Biology 3, 1-7.
  • Murphy, G. P. and S. A. Dudley. 2009. Kin recognition: competition and cooperation in Impatiens (Balsaminaceae). American Journal of Botany 96, 1-7.
  • Dudley, S. A. & File, A. L. 2008 Yes, kin recognition in plants! Biology Letters 4, 69-70.
  • Dudley, S. A. and A. L. File (2007). Kin recognition in an annual plant. Biology Letters, 3 :435-438.
  • Schaafsma, A. W., M. L. Holmes, J. Whistlecraft and S. A. Dudley (2007). Effectiveness of three Bt corn events against feeding damage by the true armyworm (Pseudaletia unipuncta Haworth). Canadian Journal of Plant Science 87: 599-603.
  • Murphy, G. P. and S. A. Dudley (2007). Above- and below-ground competition cues elicit independent responses. Journal of Ecology 95(2): 261-272.
  • Beaton, L. L. and S. A. Dudley (2007). The impact of solute leaching on the salt tolerance during germination of the common roadside plant Dipsacus fullonumsubsp sylvestris (Dipsaceae). International Journal of Plant Sciences 168(3): 317-324.
  • Donovan, L. A., S. A. Dudley, D. M. Rosenthal and F. Ludwig (2007). Phenotypic selection on leaf water use efficiency and related ecophysiological traits for natural populations of desert sunflowers. Oecologia 152(1): 13-25.
  • Dudley, S. A. (2004). Plasticity and the Functional Ecology of Plants. InPhenotypic Plasticity: Functional and Conceptual Approaches. T. J. DeWitt and S. M. Scheiner, Oxford University Press.
  • Beaton, L. L. and S. A. Dudley (2004). Tolerance to salinity and manganese in three common roadside species. International Journal of Plant Science165: 37-51.
  • Ludwig, F., D. M. Rosenthal, J. A. Johnston, N. Kane, B. L. Gross, C. Lexer, S. A. Dudley, L. H. Rieseberg and L. A. Donovan (2004). Selection on leaf ecophysiological traits in a desert hybrid Helianthus species and early-generation hybrids. Evolution 58(12): 2682-2692.
  • Rothfels, C. J., L. L. Beaton and S. A. Dudley (2002). The effects of salt, manganese, and density on life history traits in Hesperis matronalis L. from oldfield and roadside populations. Canadian Journal of Botany 80: 131-139.
  • Sleeman, J. D., S. A. Dudley, J. R. Pannell and S. C. H. Barrett (2002). Responses of carbon acquisition traits to irradiance and light quality in Mercurialis annua (Euphorbiaceae): Evidence for weak integration of plastic responses. American Journal of Botany 89(9): 1388-1400.
  • Sleeman, J. D. and S. A. Dudley (2001). Phenotypic plasticity in carbon acquisition of rapid cycling Brassica rapa L. in response to light quality and water availability.International Journal of Plant Sciences 162(2): 297-307.
  • Ackerly, D. D., S. A. Dudley, S. E. Sultan, J. Schmitt, J. S. Coleman, C. R. Linder, D. R. Sandquist, M. A. Geber, A. S. Evans, T. E. Dawson and M. J. Lechowicz (2000). The evolution of plant ecophysiological traits: recent advances and future directions. Bioscience 50: 979-995.
  • Au, J., P. Bagchi, B. Chen, R. Martinez, S. A. Dudley and G. J. Sorger (2000). Methodology for public monitoring of total coliforms, Escherichia coli and toxicity in waterways by Canadian high school students. Journal of Environmental Management 58(3): 213-230.
  • Maliakal, S. K., K. McDonnell, S. A. Dudley and J. Schmitt (1999). Effects of red to far-red ratio and plant density on biomass allocation and gas exchange inImpatiens capensis. International Journal of Plant Sciences 16: 723-733.
  • Schmitt, Johanna and Susan A Dudley. 1996. Testing the adaptive plasticity hypothesis for plant responses to neighbors. Plant Species Biology, 11:59-67.
  • Dudley, Susan A. and Johanna Schmitt. 1996. Testing the adaptive plasticity hypothesis: density dependent selection on manipulated stem length inImpatiens capensis.   American Naturalist 147:445-465.
  • Dudley, Susan A. 1996. Differing selection on plant physiological traits in response to environmental water availability; a test of adaptive hypotheses.  Evolution 50:92-102.
  • Dudley, Susan A. 1996. The response to differing selection on plant physiological traits: evidence for local adaptation. Evolution 50:103-110.
  • Dudley, Susan A. and Johanna Schmitt. 1995.  Differences between open and woodland populations of Impatiens capensis in morphological responses to simulated foliage shade. Functional Ecology 9:655-666.
  • Chu, Po Hsiang, and Dudley, Susan A. 1993. The effect of population structure on the rate of convergence of genetic algorithms. Symposium on Applied Computing
  • R. K. Monson, M. S. B. Ku, J. Gurevitch, L. J. Mets, S. Dudley, and J. A. Teeri. 1988. Carbon isotope discrimination by leaves of Flaveria species exhibiting different amounts of C3‑ and C4‑cycle cofunction. Planta 174:145‑151
  • Dudley, Susan A., and Martin J. Lechowicz. 1987. Losses of polyol through leaching in subarctic lichens. Plant Physiology 83: 813‑815
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McMaster University - Faculty of Science | Biology