The main scientific goal of SeedArc is to conduct comparative studies across various levels of biological organization, from species to populations to plant communities to biomes. We adopt the theoretical background of the research agenda for seed‐trait functional ecology (https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.15502). SeedArc and its associated metadata will allow us to answer questions related to plant regeneration by seed, biogeography, evolution and vegetation ecology. Moreover, in the light of the current habitat degradation and climate change emergency this data will feed conservation biology research and restoration actions.
We foresee 3 main questions:
How is seed germination integrated with other seed or life history traits? This will allow to map seed forms to functions and to assess how regenerative traits are associated with adult traits.
How is seed germination regulated by current and future environmental conditions? This will allow to understand how the regeneration of seed plants copes with ecological gradients in space and climatic changes in time.
What processes drive seed germination variability? This is needed to assess the degree of evolvability versus phenotypic plasticity, which in turn allows to understand the macroevolution of seed germination and the role of functional acquisition of new germination syndromes in angiosperm diversification.
At the same time, we will tackle the methodological and computing challenges related to: