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  • Thomas, H. J. D.; Bjorkman, A. D.; Myers-Smith, I. H.; Elmendorf, S. C.; Kattge, J.; Diaz, S.; Vellend, M.; Blok, D.; Cornelissen, J. H. C.; Forbes, B. C.; Henry, G. H. R.; Hollister, R. D.; Normand, S.; Prevéy, J. S.; Rixen, C.; Schaepman-Strub, G.; Wilmking, M.; Wipf, S.; Cornwell, W. K.; Beck, P. S. A.; Georges, D.; Goetz, S. J.; Guay, K. C.; Rüger, N.; Soudzilovskaia, N. A.; Spasojevic, M. J.; Alatalo, J. M.; Alexander, H. D.; Anadon-Rosell, A.; Angers-Blondin, S.; te Beest, M.; Berner, L. T.; Björk, R. G.; Buchwal, A.; Buras, A.; Carbognani, M.; Christie, K. S.; Collier, L. S.; Cooper, E. J.; Elberling, B.; Eskelinen, A.; Frei, E. R.; Grau, O.; Grogan, P.; Hallinger, M.; Heijmans, M. M. P. D.; Hermanutz, L.; Hudson, J. M. G.; Johnstone, J. F.; Hülber, K.; Iturrate-Garcia, M.; Iversen, C. M.; Jaroszynska, F.; Kaarlejarvi, E.; Kulonen, A.; Lamarque, L. J.; Lantz, T. C.; Lévesque, E.; Little, C. J.; Michelsen, A.; Milbau, A.; Nabe-Nielsen, J.; Nielsen, S. S.; Ninot, J. M.; Oberbauer, S. F.; Olofsson, J.; Onipchenko, V. G.; Petraglia, A.; Rumpf, S. B.; Shetti, R.; Speed, J. D. M.; Suding, K. N.; Tape, K. D.; Tomaselli, M.; Trant, A. J.; Treier, U. A.; Tremblay, M.; Venn, S. E.; Vowles, T.; Weijers, S.; Wookey, P. A.; Zamin, T. J.; Bahn, M.; Blonder, B.; van Bodegom, P. M.; Bond-Lamberty, B.; Campetella, G.; Cerabolini, B. E. L.; Chapin, F. S.; Craine, J. M.; Dainese, M.; Green, W. A.; Jansen, S.; Kleyer, M.; Manning, P.; Niinemets, Ü.; Onoda, Y.; Ozinga, W. A.; Peñuelas, J.; Poschlod, P.; Reich, P. B.; Sandel, B.; Schamp, B. S.; Sheremetiev, S. N.; de Vries, F. T. (2020)
    The majority of variation in six traits critical to the growth, survival and reproduction of plant species is thought to be organised along just two dimensions, corresponding to strategies of plant size and resource acquisition. However, it is unknown whether global plant trait relationships extend to climatic extremes, and if these interspecific relationships are confounded by trait variation within species. We test whether trait relationships extend to the cold extremes of life on Earth using the largest database of tundra plant traits yet compiled. We show that tundra plants demonstrate remarkably similar resource economic traits, but not size traits, compared to global distributions, and exhibit the same two dimensions of trait variation. Three quarters of trait variation occurs among species, mirroring global estimates of interspecific trait variation. Plant trait relationships are thus generalizable to the edge of global trait-space, informing prediction of plant community change in a warming world.
  • Li, Xuefei; Schmid, Bernhard; Wang, Fei; Paine, C. E. Timothy (2016)
    Growth rates are of fundamental importance for plants, as individual size affects myriad ecological processes. We determined the factors that generate variation in RGR among 14 species of trees and shrubs that are abundant in subtropical Chinese forests. We grew seedlings for two years at four light levels in a shade-house experiment. We monitored the growth of every juvenile plant every two weeks. After one and two years, we destructively harvested individuals and measured their functional traits and gas-exchange rates. After calculating individual biomass trajectories, we estimated relative growth rates using nonlinear growth functions. We decomposed the variance in log(RGR) to evaluate the relationships of RGR with its components: specific leaf area (SLA), net assimilation rate (NAR) and leaf mass ratio (LMR). We found that variation in NAR was the primary determinant of variation in RGR at all light levels, whereas SLA and LMR made smaller contributions. Furthermore, NAR was strongly and positively associated with area-based photosynthetic rate and leaf nitrogen content. Photosynthetic rate and leaf nitrogen concentration can, therefore, be good predictors of growth in woody species.