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A global meta-analysis of the relative extent of intraspecific trait variation in plant communities.

Author:
  • Andrew Siefert
  • Cyrille Violle
  • Loïc Chalmandrier
  • Cécile H Albert
  • Adrien Taudiere
  • Alex Fajardo
  • Lonnie W Aarssen
  • Christopher Baraloto
  • Marcos B Carlucci
  • Marcus V Cianciaruso
  • Vinícius de L Dantas
  • Francesco de Bello
  • Leandro D S Duarte
  • Carlos R Fonseca
  • Grégoire T Freschet
  • Stéphanie Gaucherand
  • Nicolas Gross
  • Kouki Hikosaka
  • Benjamin Jackson
  • Vincent Jung
  • Chiho Kamiyama
  • Masatoshi Katabuchi
  • Steven W Kembel
  • Emilie Kichenin
  • Nathan J B Kraft
  • Anna Lagerström
  • Yoann Le Bagousse-Pinguet
  • Yuanzhi Li
  • Norman Mason
  • Julie Messier
  • Tohru Nakashizuka
  • Jacob McC Overton
  • Duane A Peltzer
  • I M Pérez-Ramos
  • Valério D Pillar
  • Honor C Prentice
  • Sarah Richardson
  • Takehiro Sasaki
  • Brandon S Schamp
  • Christian Schöb
  • Bill Shipley
  • Maja Sundqvist
  • Martin Sykes
  • Marie Vandewalle
  • David A Wardle
Publishing year: 2015
Language: English
Pages: 1406-1419
Publication/Series: Ecology Letters
Volume: 18
Issue: 12
Document type: Journal article review
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

Abstract english

Recent studies have shown that accounting for intraspecific trait variation (ITV) may better address major questions in community ecology. However, a general picture of the relative extent of ITV compared to interspecific trait variation in plant communities is still missing. Here, we conducted a meta-analysis of the relative extent of ITV within and among plant communities worldwide, using a data set encompassing 629 communities (plots) and 36 functional traits. Overall, ITV accounted for 25% of the total trait variation within communities and 32% of the total trait variation among communities on average. The relative extent of ITV tended to be greater for whole-plant (e.g. plant height) vs. organ-level traits and for leaf chemical (e.g. leaf N and P concentration) vs. leaf morphological (e.g. leaf area and thickness) traits. The relative amount of ITV decreased with increasing species richness and spatial extent, but did not vary with plant growth form or climate. These results highlight global patterns in the relative importance of ITV in plant communities, providing practical guidelines for when researchers should include ITV in trait-based community and ecosystem studies.

Keywords

  • Ecology

Other

Published
  • ISSN: 1461-023X
Honor C. Prentice
E-mail: honor_c [dot] prentice [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Professor emerita

Biodiversity

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