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Brody Steven Sandel

Contrasting trait responses in plant communities to experimental and geographic variation in precipitation

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

  • Brody Steven Sandel
  • Leah Goldstein, UC Irvine, USA
  • Nathan Kraft, UC Berkeley, USA
  • Jordan Okie, University of New Mexico
  • ,
  • Michal Shuldman, UC Berkeley
  • ,
  • David Ackerly, UC Berkeley
  • ,
  • Elsa Cleland, UC San Diego
  • ,
  • Katherine Suding, UC Berkeley
  • Økoinformatik og Biodiversitet, Biologisk Institut
Patterns of precipitation are likely to change significantly in the coming century,
with important but poorly understood consequences for plant communities.
Experimental and correlative studies may provide insight into expected changes,
but little research has addressed the degree of concordance between these
We synthesized results from four experimental water addition studies with a
correlative analysis of community changes across a large natural precipitation
gradient in the United States. We investigated whether community composition,
summarized with plant functional traits, responded similarly to increasing precipitation among studies and sites.
In field experiments, increased precipitation favored species with small seed size,short leaf life span and high leaf nitrogen (N) concentration. However, with
increasing precipitation along the natural gradient, community composition shiftedtowards species with higher mean seed mass, longer leaf life span and lower leaf Nconcentrations.
The differences in temporal and spatial scale of experimental manipulations and
natural gradients may explain these contrasting results. Our results highlight the
complexity of responses to climate change, and suggest that transient dynamics
may not reflect long-term shifts in functional diversity and community composition.
We propose a model of community change that incorporates these differences
between short- and long-term responses to climate change.
TidsskriftNew Phytologist
Sider (fra-til)565-575
Antal sider11
StatusUdgivet - 2010

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