How knowledge of natural selection may help improve crop breeding and management

Published on
March 30, 2016

Evolutionary game theoretical have shown that populations of plants with maximum performance are not stable against invasion by plants that overinvest in resource harvest (e.g. grow taller or produce more roots than neighbours) or service provisioning (e.g. produce large flowers to attract more pollinators).  These so-called tragedy of the commons run counter to what is usually assumed by plant scientists, and to what farmers often want: maximum population level performance. In a new review in Trends in Ecology and Evolution we show how knowledge of these of tragedies and how they can actually be induced or aggravated by agriculture itself  may provide important insights for crop breeding and management.

The full article can be found here.