Plant responses to global change: next generation biogeography
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2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Global change has become a major ecological concern that has the potential to dramatically alter plant distributions and assemblages worldwide. The specific response of plants to global change will depend on their ability to move, evolve, or adjust through phenotypic plasticity. Advances in biogeographic research are on the verge of a giant leap forward if we can take advantage of emerging tools in genetics and genomics. In this review, we appraise how new, post-Sanger, high-throughput sequencing and associated technologies can be used by next generation biogeographers to assess plant responses to global change. First, we briefly review the recent advances in genome sequencing and available approaches of genomic analysis. Secondly, we discuss the three main plant responses to global change: migration, adaptation, and phenotypic plasticity. This review is intended to spark the interest of biogeographers who do not traditionally use genetics but could benefit from including genetic and genomic tools into their research. Our goal is to illustrate that their use can contribute to new perspective and add an additional level of resolution into future biogeographic research.