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ecophys vs physeco

David Alm d-alm at uiuc.edu
Tue Nov 28 16:31:03 EST 1995

Dr. van Gardingen,

Anyway, I faced this question when writing the "Plant Ecology" chapter in
the Encyclopedia of Agriculture, 1994, Academic Press.  (Imagine trying to
summarize plant ecology in less than 15 pages.)  My distinction was as follows:

"Plant ecophysiology is centered on studies at the organism level and is
concerned chiefly with the effects of environmental, phenological,
morphological, and physiological processes on mass and energy exchange
through a plant -- or its role in the ecosystem.  Physiological plant
ecology, on the other hand, consists of physiologically-based studies of a
plant's niche -- its role in the community."

I based this definition simply on my own experience of hearing the two terms
(ecophys vs physeco) used at meetings.  Many physiological studies are
performed with the intent or hope of scaling-up.  It seemed to me that those
using "ecophysiology" were planning to extrapolate to ecosystem processes,
whereas those using "physiological ecology" were interested in community

I guess it's as good a definition as any, particularly since I've never seen
any other definition!

Thanks for reading. I'd be interested in any feedback.


**  David Alm                               **
**  Plant Biology Department                **
**  265 Morrill Hall                        **
**  University of Illinois                  **
**  Urbana, Illinois  61801   USA           **
**  .............................           **
**  d-alm at uiuc.edu   phone: (217) 244-3167  **
**  fax: (217) 244-7246                     **

Dr Paul van Gardingen             Institute of Ecology
                                  & Resource Management
E-mail: P.vangardingen at ed.ac.uk   The University of Edinburgh
Phone:  +44 (0)131 535 4066       School of Agriculture
                                  West Mains Road
Fax :   +44 (0)131 667-2601       Edinburgh EH9 3JG, Scotland

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