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Roberto Salguero-Gómez, Richard P. Shefferson and Michael J. Hutchings Plants do not count… or do they? New perspectives on the universality of senescence Journal of Ecology 101

Version of Record online: 24 APR 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12089

Understanding the conditions under which senescence has evolved is of general importance across biology, ecology, evolution, conservation biology, medicine, gerontology, law and social sciences. The question ‘why is senescence universal or why is it not?’ naturally calls for an evolutionary perspective. Senescence is a puzzling phenomenon, and new insights will be gained by uniting methods, theories and observations from formal demography, animal demography and plant population ecology. Plants are more amenable than animals to experiments investigating senescence, and there is a wealth of published plant demographic data that enable interpretation of experimental results in the context of their full life cycles. It is time to make plants count in the field of senescence.

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