Anticipating future conditions via trajectory sensitivity Academic Article uri icon


  • Plants are known to be highly responsive to environmental heterogeneity and normally allocate more biomass to organs which grow in richer patches. However, recent evidence demonstrates that plants can discriminately allocate more resources to roots that develop in patches with increasing nutrient levels, even when their other roots develop in richer patches. Responsiveness to the direction and steepness of spatial and temporal trajectories of environmental variables might enable plants to increase their performance by improving their readiness to anticipated resource availabilities in their immediate proximity. Exploring the ecological implications and mechanisms of trajectory- sensitivity in plants is expected to shed new light on the ways plants learn their environment and anticipate its future challenges and opportunities.

publication date

  • January 1, 2010