Why do plants silicify?

Félix de Tombeur, John A. Raven, Aurèle Toussaint, Hans Lambers, Julia Cooke, Sue E. Hartley, Scott N. Johnson, Sylvain Coq, Ofir Katz, Jörg Schaller, Cyrille Violle

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Despite seminal papers that stress the significance of silicon (Si) in plant biology and ecology, most studies focus on manipulations of Si supply and mitigation of stresses. The ecological significance of Si varies with different levels of biological organization, and remains hard to capture. We show that the costs of Si accumulation are greater than is currently acknowledged, and discuss potential links between Si and fitness components (growth, survival, reproduction), environment, and ecosystem functioning. We suggest that Si is more important in trait-based ecology than is currently recognized. Si potentially plays a significant role in many aspects of plant ecology, but knowledge gaps prevent us from understanding its possible contribution to the success of some clades and the expansion of specific biomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-288
Number of pages14
JournalTrends in Ecology and Evolution
Volume38
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023

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