Plant–microbe eco-evolutionary dynamics in a changing world

Angulo, Violeta; Beriot, Nicolas; Garcia-Hernandez, Edisa; Li, Erqin; Masteling, Raul; Lau, Jennifer A.


Both plants and their associated microbiomes can respond strongly to anthropogenic environmental changes. These responses can be both ecological (e.g. a global change affecting plant demography or microbial community composition) and evolutionary (e.g. a global change altering natural selection on plant or microbial populations). As a result, global changes can catalyse eco-evolutionary feedbacks. Here, we take a plant-focused perspective to discuss how microbes mediate plant ecological responses to global change and how these ecological effects can influence plant evolutionary response to global change. We argue that the strong and functionally important relationships between plants and their associated microbes are particularly likely to result in eco-evolutionary feedbacks when perturbed by global changes and discuss how improved understanding of plant–microbe eco-evolutionary dynamics could inform conservation or even agriculture.