Course description and major topics covered in ecophysiology

Course Description Solar radiation
Adaptations of individual plant species to their environment, emphasizing morphological and physiological mechanisms that influence plant establishment, the physical environment, below- and above-ground productivity, and plant interactions such as competition, herbivory, and allelopathy.
Review of the solar spectrum, including the nature of light, how solar radiation changes as it passes through the atmosphere to the ground and through canopies, and how it affects plants.
Energy balance Climate and microclimate
Plant physiological processes, morphology, growth and development, and distribution are greatly affected by the amount of energy input from the environment relative to the amount of energy output from the plant to the environment. This section of the course examines plant acclimation and adaptation to energy inputs and outputs.
This section of the course reviews the different ways to graphically represent and interpret climate and microclimate, and their importance to plant form, function, and distribution
Instrumentation Wind
This section of the course will review the instrumentation used to measure various aspects of microclimate and various plant physiological processes. Wind movement over leaves, i.e., forced convection, is a primary cooling mechanism for leaves. Also, consistently high winds can affect plant morphology, growth, and distribution.
Leaf and canopy optics Temperature stress
This section examines how solar radiation is reflected, absorbed, or transmitted by individual leaves, the plant canopy of a plant, and the plant canopy of a community.
Plant response to high and low temperatures, i.e., plant tolerance, resistance, and avoidance of heat and cold stress.
Water relations Photosynthesis
The mechanisms of plant response to drought, including anatomical, physiological, morphological changes that occur during drought acclimation. Plant adaptation to drought stress, and mechanisms of drought tolerance, avoidance, and resistance are covered in this section of the course.
A review of the biochemistry of C3, C4, and CAM photosynthesis. This is followed by a discussion on how various environmental factors affect photosynthesis, and the range phenotypic plasticity among species in regard to photosynthesis.
Adaptation: The nature of ecotypes Interactions: Competition, allelopathy, and herbivory
Plant adaptation to various environmental factors can have profound effects on plant physiological processes, morphology, and competitive ability. One aspect of adaptation is the development of ecotypes, which are populations within a species that are adapted to the local environment. This section of the course examines ecotypic variation and phenotypic plasticity.
These are the principal interactions among plants, and among plants and animals, in the community. This section of the course explores how physiological process are linked to and determine the competitive ability of plant species, the nature of the chemical interactions among species, and plant response to herbivory.
Carbon allocation and balance in plants and the community Scaling from leaf to ecosystem
The flow and allocation of carbon in the plant during growth and development, and the carbon budget of whole communities. Physiological processes at the leaf level are scaled to the whole plant level, which is viewed in the context of the community and ecosystem.