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Abstract
Plant functional traits directly affect ecosystem functions. At the species level, trait combinations depend on trade-offs representing different ecological strategies, but at the community level trait combinations are expected to be decoupled from these trade-offs because different strategies can facilitate co-existence within communities. A key question is to what extent community-level trait composition is globally filtered and how well it is related to global versus local environmental drivers. Here, we perform a global, plot-level analysis of trait-environment relationships, using a database with more than 1.1 million vegetation plots and 26,632 plant species with trait information. Although we found a strong filtering of 17 functional traits, similar climate and soil conditions support communities differing greatly in mean trait values. The two main community trait axes that capture half of the global trait variation (plant stature and resource acquisitiveness) reflect the trade-offs at the species level but are weakly associated with climate and soil conditions at the global scale. Similarly, within-plot trait variation does not vary systematically with macro-environment. Our results indicate that, at fine spatial grain, macro-environmental drivers are much less important for functional trait composition than has been assumed from floristic analyses restricted to co-occurrence in large grid cells. Instead, trait combinations seem to be predominantly filtered by local-scale factors such as disturbance, fine-scale soil conditions, niche partitioning and biotic interactions.
Keywords
CAVElab, FUNCTIONAL DIVERSITY, EXPLAIN VARIATION, LEAF ECONOMICS, CLIMATE, PHYLOGENY, PATTERNS, FOLIAR, TEMPERATURE, PREDICTION, DRIVERS

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Chicago
Bruelheide, Helge, Jürgen Dengler, Oliver Purschke, Jonathan Lenoir, Borja Jiménez-Alfaro, Stephan M Hennekens, Zoltán Botta-Dukát, et al. 2018. “Global Trait-environment Relationships of Plant Communities.” Nature Ecology & Evolution 2 (12): 1906–1917.
APA
Bruelheide, H., Dengler, J., Purschke, O., Lenoir, J., Jiménez-Alfaro, B., Hennekens, S. M., Botta-Dukát, Z., et al. (2018). Global trait-environment relationships of plant communities. NATURE ECOLOGY & EVOLUTION, 2(12), 1906–1917.
Vancouver
1.
Bruelheide H, Dengler J, Purschke O, Lenoir J, Jiménez-Alfaro B, Hennekens SM, et al. Global trait-environment relationships of plant communities. NATURE ECOLOGY & EVOLUTION. 2018;2(12):1906–17.
MLA
Bruelheide, Helge, Jürgen Dengler, Oliver Purschke, et al. “Global Trait-environment Relationships of Plant Communities.” NATURE ECOLOGY & EVOLUTION 2.12 (2018): 1906–1917. Print.
@article{8584009,
  abstract     = {Plant functional traits directly affect ecosystem functions. At the species level, trait combinations depend on trade-offs representing different ecological strategies, but at the community level trait combinations are expected to be decoupled from these trade-offs because different strategies can facilitate co-existence within communities. A key question is to what extent community-level trait composition is globally filtered and how well it is related to global versus local environmental drivers. Here, we perform a global, plot-level analysis of trait-environment relationships, using a database with more than 1.1 million vegetation plots and 26,632 plant species with trait information. Although we found a strong filtering of 17 functional traits, similar climate and soil conditions support communities differing greatly in mean trait values. The two main community trait axes that capture half of the global trait variation (plant stature and resource acquisitiveness) reflect the trade-offs at the species level but are weakly associated with climate and soil conditions at the global scale. Similarly, within-plot trait variation does not vary systematically with macro-environment. Our results indicate that, at fine spatial grain, macro-environmental drivers are much less important for functional trait composition than has been assumed from floristic analyses restricted to co-occurrence in large grid cells. Instead, trait combinations seem to be predominantly filtered by local-scale factors such as disturbance, fine-scale soil conditions, niche partitioning and biotic interactions.},
  author       = {Bruelheide, Helge and Dengler, J{\"u}rgen and Purschke, Oliver and Lenoir, Jonathan and Jim{\'e}nez-Alfaro, Borja and Hennekens, Stephan M and Botta-Duk{\'a}t, Zolt{\'a}n and Chytr{\'y}, Milan and Field, Richard and Jansen, Florian and Kattge, Jens and Pillar, Val{\'e}rio D and Schrodt, Franziska and Mahecha, Miguel D and Peet, Robert K and Sandel, Brody and van Bodegom, Peter and Altman, Jan and Alvarez-D{\'a}vila, Esteban and Arfin Khan, Mohammed AS and Attorre, Fabio and Aubin, Isabelle and Baraloto, Christopher and Barroso, Jorcely G and Bauters, Marijn and Bergmeier, Erwin and Biurrun, Idoia and Bjorkman, Anne and Blonder, Benjamin and \v{C}arni, Andra\v{z} and Cayuela, Luis and \v{C}ern{\'y}, Tom{\'a}\v{s} and Cornelissen, J Hans C and Craven, Dylan and Dainese, Matteo and Derroire, G{\'e}raldine and De Sanctis, Michele and D{\'i}az, Sandra and Dole\v{z}al, Ji\v{r}{\'i} and Farfan-Rios, William and Feldpausch, Ted R and Fenton, Nicole J and Garnier, Eric and Guerin, Greg R and Guti{\'e}rrez, Alvaro G and Haider, Sylvia and Hattab, Tarek and Henry, Greg and H{\'e}rault, Bruno and Higuchi, Pedro and H{\"o}lzel, Norbert and Homeier, J{\"u}rgen and Jentsch, Anke and J{\"u}rgens, Norbert and K\k{a}cki, Zygmunt and Karger, Dirk N and Kessler, Michael and Kleyer, Michael and Knollov{\'a}, Ilona and Korolyuk, Andrey Y and K{\"u}hn, Ingolf and Laughlin, Daniel C and Lens, Frederic and Loos, Jacqueline and Louault, Fr{\'e}d{\'e}rique and Lyubenova, Mariyana I and Malhi, Yadvinder and Marcen{\`o}, Corrado and Mencuccini, Maurizio and M{\"u}ller, Jonas V and Munzinger, J{\'e}r{\^o}me and Myers-Smith, Isla H and Neill, David A and Niinemets, {\"U}lo and Orwin, Kate H and Ozinga, Wim A and Penuelas, Josep and P{\'e}rez-Haase, Aaron and Pet\v{r}{\'i}k, Petr and Phillips, Oliver L and P{\"a}rtel, Meelis and Reich, Peter B and R{\"o}mermann, Christine and Rodrigues, Arthur V and Sabatini, Francesco Maria and Sardans, Jordi and Schmidt, Marco and Seidler, Gunnar and Silva Espejo, Javier Eduardo and Silveira, Marcos and Smyth, Anita and Sporbert, Maria and Svenning, Jens-Christian and Tang, Zhiyao and Thomas, Raquel and Tsiripidis, Ioannis and Vassilev, Kiril and Violle, Cyrille and Virtanen, Risto and Weiher, Evan and Welk, Erik and Wesche, Karsten and Winter, Marten and Wirth, Christian and Jandt, Ute},
  issn         = {2397-334X},
  journal      = {NATURE ECOLOGY \& EVOLUTION},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {12},
  pages        = {1906--1917},
  title        = {Global trait-environment relationships of plant communities},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41559-018-0699-8},
  volume       = {2},
  year         = {2018},
}

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