We study how plants function to understand where they grow, how they interact, and how they change the world. Our work integrates traits and demography to predict ecological dynamics and restore wild landscapes in a changing world.


Daniel C. Laughlin, Professor
University of Wyoming
Department of Botany

Associate Editor, Ecology
Google Scholar


New Book!

Plant Strategies: The Demographic Consequences of
Functional Traits in Changing Environments

Daniel Laughlin, 2023, Oxford University Press

Note to listeners: these were recorded with one take and aren’t perfect, so please excuse the occasional garbled word. These chapter summaries are like cliff notes for the real chapters meant as road maps to the topics explored at depth in the book.

Title Page and Epigraph:






Summary of Part I. Foundations
Chapter 1: Perspectives on Plant Strategies
Chapter 2: A Menagerie of Plant Strategy Models
Chapter 3: The Dimensionality of Plant Strategy Theory


Summary of Part II. Demography and Life History
Chapter 4: Plant Demography
Chapter 5: Life History Theory Applied to Plants


Summary of Part III. Comparative Functional Ecology
Chapter 6: Plant Functional Traits and the Multidimensional Phenotype
Chapter 7: Plant Strategies Along Resource, Disturbance, and Temperature Gradients


Summary of Part IV. The Net Effect of Traits on Fitness
Chapter 8: Empirical Approaches to Infer Fitness from Traits
Chapter 9: Game Theoretical Approaches to Infer Fitness from Traits
Chapter 10. Applying Plant Strategies in Conservation and Restoration


Summary of Part V. The Effect of Traits on Demographic Rates
Chapter 11: Plant Traits that Promote Growth and Enhance Survival
Chapter 12: Plant Traits that Bolster Recruitment