11 July 2000 Newsletter for ESA’s Physiological Ecology Section

Secretary Election: Lisa Donovan, University of Georgia, narrowly defeated Richard Thomas, West Virginia University in the Section's Election for Secretary, and thus took over the role from Stan Smith. Lisa studies plant-environment interactions from an integrated ecophysiological, ecological and evolutionary perspective. Lisa did graduate work in physiological ecology with Jim Ehleringer at University of Utah and then a postdoc with Jim Richards at UC Davis. The secretary's major role is to organize the review and selection process for the Billings Award and for the Poster Award. Lisa has taken on these responsibilities with gusto!!!!

President Election: Rob Jackson, Duke University, narrowly defeated Vince Gutschick, New Mexico State University in the Section's Election for President-elect. Rob will take over the reigns on January 1, 2001. Rob studies the physiological controls on plant and ecosystem functioning and feedbacks between global change and the biosphere. He did graduate work in physiological ecology and statistics with Martyn Caldwell at Utah State University and then a postdoc in Hal Mooney's lab at Stanford. He writes, "As Chair, I would have several priorities. The first will be to follow-up the Snowbird 2000 symposium on future directions in physiological ecology (organized by Jim Coleman, Todd Dawson, and me). This will include a broader Asilomar-type meeting (circa 1986) to foster input on the priorities, questions, and tools that our discipline will use in the coming century as well as publishing a synthesis such as the 1987 BioScience issue. A second priority will be to foster involvement with graduate students and postdocs in the section. One way to do this is to create a liason (e.g., a student representative) to help meet the needs and use the expertise of our younger members. A third priority will be to expand the section webpage I created four years ago and have continued to develop (http://www.botany.duke.edu/jackson/ecophys/). Recent additions include a jobs page for faculty, staff, postdoc, and graduate opportunities." Rob received the Buell Award from the Ecological Society of America in 1990 and a Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering from the National Science Foundation.

Business Meeting and Mixer: The meeting of the Physiological Ecology section will be on Tuesday, August 8 from 6:00 until 8:00 PM in the Golden Cliff, Cliff Lodge, Snowbird. We hope to have follow up discussions from the symposium on the future of plant physiological that will occur right before the mixer, as well as to present the Billings Award plaques to last year's winner and to Shirley Billings (if she is able to attend).

Billings Award: The W.D. and S.M. Billings award was established in August, 1998 and is made to the graduate student whose oral presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America represents a significant advancement in physiological ecology (though, we made the award in 1998 to the best published paper by a graduate student). The award is given to a student whose paper is judged to offer the rigor, creativity, importance, and presentation that sets a new standard in the discipline. The award recognizes the lifetime contributions by its namesakes, Dwight and Shirley Billings, to physiological ecology. Dwight built the foundation for physiological ecology in North America and provided leadership for the field throughout his illustrious career. Together, Dwight and Shirley have shown a deep regard for the interests and training of graduate students in this dynamic component of ecology.

The Billings Award was created with an initial gift from Shirley Billings. Currently, the endowment is approaching $25,000, far exceeding our goal for this year of $20,000. THANKS TO ALL OF YOU WHO HAVE DONATED TO THIS FUND. Further donations are needed and can be sent to: Billings Award, Ecological Society of America, 2010 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20036

The 1999 award will be presented at Snowbird in 2000 to Jeanine Cavender-Bares of Harvard University for the presentation of the paper: Cavender-Bares J, Ackerly D, Baum D, Bazzaz FA. 1999. Correlated evolution in 15 co-occurring species of oaks (Quercus): a study of habitat and plant functional traits. The award carries a $500 prize.

Additionally, the Section had two plaques made for the Billings Award. One plaque will be kept by the Section President and the other by Shirley Billings. The walnut plaques with gold on green labels have headers that read "W.D. and S.M. Billings Award, Physiological Ecology Section, Ecological Society of America". This is followed by text that reads "This award is presented annually to the graduate student whose oral presentation at the Annual Meeting of the ESA demonstrates the rigor, creativity, importance, and quality of presentation that sets a new standard in the discipline. The award recognizes the lifetime contributions by its namesakes, Dwight and Shirley Billings, to physiological ecology". Following this are "tags" for over a dozen potential winners. The first two winners are named on engraved tags. The names of every new recipient will be added to these plaques each year. The Section President will be responsible for sending Shirley a new tag with the engraved name of each new winner. We are hoping to present Shirley her plaque at the Snowbird mixer.

Poster Awards: After the Spokane meeting we awarded our fourth consecutive "Best Poster Award" to David R. Bowling of the University of Colorado for his poster: Bowling DR, Baldocchi DD, Monson RK. Partitioning net ecosystem exchange in a Tennessee deciduous forest using stable isotopes of carbon dioxide. Congratulations David! The annual award is $500.

We will make another selection for both the Billings Award and for the Best Poster Award at the Snowbird meeting. Both awards come with a $500 cash prize.

Symposia: There are several symposia related to Physiological Ecology at Snowbird this year. Some of these are listed and described on the Section web page. However, the Section only officially sponsored one symposium this year. The purpose of this symposium is to discuss what the field has accomplished over the last 13 years, and where we are going in the future. The following is the abstract, as well as the list of speakers;

Plant Physiological Ecology: Linking the Organism to Scales Above and Below

In 1987, a series of papers on plant physiological ecology were published in BioScience. These seminal papers set forth a set of themes that essentially defined the field and communicated some of the more important questions in need of further research in the decade to come. Since their publication these papers have also helped scientists, graduate students and funding agencies see where the field was headed or needed to head. Over the last 13 years, plant physiological ecology has gradually broadened and diversified beyond these central themes. Today the field is challenged with redefining is goals and future directions; the forthright and concise agenda it set forth in 1987 has evolved and needs to be revisited.

Today, physiological ecologists still hold tightly to the idea that the "organism" remains the cornerstone for all of its investigations. Organisms define the boundary and ultimate product of molecular and cellular processes, the unit of selection, the key elements comprising populations and communities and it is organisms that drive or shape ecosystem functions. Not surprisingly, therefore, scaling-up from organismal level processes to populations, communities and ecosystems and scaling-down to molecular and cellular phenomena as well as over evolutionary time seems to be what, today, best defines where the field is headed.

The ultimate goal of this symposium is to clearly communicate a future vision of plant physiological ecology to students, scientists, funding agencies and the public. More specifically, the symposium will address the following questions: (1) What path has the field taken to get where it is today?; (2) How well did we answer the questions posed in the BioScience series?; and (3) What is the path for the future? Our goal is that Snowbird will foster discussion that will culminate with a workshop in 2001, and ultimately a series of papers like those in BioScience that so clearly communicate a scientific agenda.

Tuesday, August 8

Historical Perspectives

1:00 MOONEY, H.A. Where are we, how did we get here and where are we going in plant physiological ecology?

1:25 BAZZAZ, F.A. AND R.W. PEARCY. Directions in plant physiological ecology since the 1984 Asilomar meeting.

Directions for the Future: Plant Physiological Ecology at Different Scales

1:50 BALDWIN, I.T. and J. BERGELSON. Using molecular techniques to ground ecological processes in physiological mechanisms.

2:15 DAWSON, T.E., D. ACKERLY, AND M. LECHOWICZ. Evolutionary perspectives in plant ecophysiology.

2:40 SCHMITT, J., and M.A. GEBER. Microevolution of physiological traits in natural populations.

3:05 BREAK

3:15 JACKSON, R.B. AND R. MONSON. Physiological ecology and global change: adding mechanism to the madness of predicting the future

3:40 EVINER, V. AND F.S. CHAPIN, III. Linking suites of plant physiological traits to ecosystem dynamics and feedbacks.

4:05 FIELD, C.B. AND M.L. GOULDEN. Physiological ecology and biosphere/atmosphere interactions

Synthesis for the future

4:30 EHLERINGER, J. AND M.M. CALDWELL. Scaling Physiological ecology in the future

4:55 COLEMAN, J.S. AND E. DELUCIA. Summary: A look ahead

Important Discussion Section: The Section election revealed a deep desire by many members to broaden the plant focus that the Section has taken over the past few years, such that there is a greater emphasis on animal ecophysiology and the links between plants and animals. Vince Gutschick worked with Martin Feder to organize a discussion that will occur after our section mixer. The discussion is titled "Towards Potential Synergies of Plant and Animal Ecophysiology" and will take place at Tuesday, August 8, 7:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. in Magpie A&B in the Cliff Lodge. The details are:

Principal Organizers: Vincent P. Gutschick, Dept. of Biology, New Mexico State University, and Martin E. Feder, President,

Panelists: Steven C. Hand, University of Colorado, Chair, Division of Comparative Physiology and Biochemistry, Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, Animal Ecophysiology; Dennis Bramble, University of Utah; Jim Coleman, Desert Research Institute, ESA member, Plant Ecophysiology; Arnold Bloom, University of California, Davis, member of American Society of Plant Physiologists; Vince Gutschick, Martin Feder, President, Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology

Abstract: The ESA section on physiological ecology has evolved to cover plant ecophysiology, to the virtual exclusion of animal ecophysiology. The intellectual linkages that are possible between plant and animal ecophysiology are diverse and potentially very rich. The links have been suggested by a number of routes recently: by four of the proposed panelists exchanging e-mail and talking at SICB and AIBS meetings; by the organizer in his candidacy statement for presidency of the Physiological Ecology Section; by NSF panel members in the Ecological and Evolutionary Physiology program and its predecessor, Functional and Physiological Ecology. Rob Jackson, the new PE section president, and panelist Jim Coleman, current PE president, asked the organizer to develop such a discussion group, to which he readily agreed.

Web: Rob Jackson, Acting Webmaster, continues to do amazing things with the web page. The section on job placements is comprehensive and gets extensive use. The number of course syllabi and notes available online is growing, and there is a new listing for courses in animal physiological ecology (further additions welcome!). Rob recently added links that have a list of all Section members with contact information as well as links to information on funding opportunities and results. Please email Jim Coleman (jcoleman@dri.edu) or Rob Jackson (jackson@duke.edu) if you have material to add to any of our sections, or suggestions for new web resources that we can provide to the physiological ecology community. Please note that the Section web page can be found at: http://www.botany.duke.edu/jackson/ecophys

By Laws: The Section voted to modify the By Laws in Spokane. The modification stemmed from the need to recognize the sustained effort required to maintain a dynamic and up-to-date web page (webmaster is now an official position). We also needed to change the by laws to reflect the unique financial situation that is a result of the Billings Endowment. The new By Laws are available on the Section's web page.

James S. Coleman, Section President, Desert Research Institute, 2215 Raggio Parkway, Reno, NV 89512. TELE: (775) 673-7322, FAX: (775) 673-7481, E-MAIL: jcoleman@dri.edu

Lisa Donovan, Section Secretary, University of Georgia, Department of Botany, Athens, GA, 30602, TELE: (706) 542-2969, E-MAIL: donovan@dogwood.botany.uga.edu

Rob Jackson, Section Web Master and President Elect, Department of Botany and Nicholas School of the Environment, Phytotron Building, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708. TELE: (919) 660-7408, FAX: (919) 660-7425, E-MAIL: jackson@duke.edu

Physiological Ecology Section home