Messier2009

Reference

Messier, J. (2009) How do leaf functional traits vary across ecological scales ? Master's thesis, McGill University. (URL )

Abstract

Functional traits, measurements of adaptive aspects of the phenotype, are increasingly used for the study of plant community ecology. Despite their importance, we do not know which ecological scales contain the most variation in a given trait, which hampers assessment of the wider relevance of findings from studies conducted at only one scale. To address this deficiency, I studied the variance distribution of two key leaf functional traits (leaf mass per area - LMA and leaf dry matter content - LDMC) across six nested ecological scales (site, plot, species, tree, strata, leaf) in lowland tropical rainforests of Panama. Variance in both traits is uniformly distributed across all scales except the plot level, which shows virtually no variance despite high species turnover among plots. This contradicts the widely held belief that species-level variation predominates in organizing species distribution and abundance and indicates that communities regulate plant ensembles by filtering on leaf functional traits regardless of species.

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@MASTERSTHESIS { Messier2009,
    AUTHOR = { Messier, J. },
    TITLE = { How do leaf functional traits vary across ecological scales ? },
    SCHOOL = { McGill University },
    YEAR = { 2009 },
    NOTE = { CEFTMS, Lechowicz, M.J. },
    ABSTRACT = { Functional traits, measurements of adaptive aspects of the phenotype, are increasingly used for the study of plant community ecology. Despite their importance, we do not know which ecological scales contain the most variation in a given trait, which hampers assessment of the wider relevance of findings from studies conducted at only one scale. To address this deficiency, I studied the variance distribution of two key leaf functional traits (leaf mass per area - LMA and leaf dry matter content - LDMC) across six nested ecological scales (site, plot, species, tree, strata, leaf) in lowland tropical rainforests of Panama. Variance in both traits is uniformly distributed across all scales except the plot level, which shows virtually no variance despite high species turnover among plots. This contradicts the widely held belief that species-level variation predominates in organizing species distribution and abundance and indicates that communities regulate plant ensembles by filtering on leaf functional traits regardless of species. },
    OWNER = { Luc },
    TIMESTAMP = { 2010.11.12 },
    URL = { http://digitool.Library.McGill.CA:80/R/-?func=dbin-jump-full&object_id=40833&current_base=GEN01'); },
}

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