Ecological and Evolutionary Effects of Crop Domestication
How does rapid evolution that occurs during plant cultivation influence ecological and evolution interactions between plants and their enemies?
The domestication of plants and animals is one of the most important activities in human history. It is also the world’s largest, longest lasting, and best replicated selection experiment. By comparing domesticated organisms to their wild relatives we can address numerous basic and applied questions in evolutionary-ecology. One hypothesis we are addressing is that domestication, and its associated changes in yield, should cause plants to evolve reduced resistance to enemies. We are testing this hypothesis, and other extensions of it, using a combination of large scale comparative experiments and meta-analyses. Future projects will explore the community level impacts of domestication using field experiments as well as continue to explore the impacts on the evolution of plant enemies.
Meta-Analysis on the impact of domestication on resistance and defense traits (PRSLB 2016)
General synthesis of the eco-evolutionary impacts of domestication and agriculture on wild species (PRSLB 2016)
Large phylogenetic analysis exploring whether the types of plants and mammals we have domesticated are phenotypic extremes (Nature Ecology & Evolution)