Plants have evolved to time their leafing, flowering and fruiting in appropriate seasons for growth, reproduction and resting. As a consequence of their adaptation to geographically different environments, there is a rich diversity in plant phenology from temperate and tropical climates. Recent progress in genetic and molecular studies will provide numerous opportunities to study the genetic basis of phenological traits and the history of adaptation of phenological traits to seasonal and aseasonal environments. Integrating molecular data with long-term phenology and climate data into predictive models will be a powerful tool to forecast future phenological changes in the face of global environmental change. Here, we review the cross-scale approach from genes to plant communities from three aspects: the latitudinal gradient of plant phenology at the community level, the environmental and genetic factors underlying the diversity of plant phenology, and an integrated approach to forecast future plant phenology based on genetically informed knowledge. Synthesizing the latest knowledge about plant phenology from molecular, ecological and mathematical perspectives will help us understand how natural selection can lead to the further evolution of the gene regulatory mechanisms in phenological traits in future forest ecosystems.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science