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Henrik Balslev

Palm Functional Traits: which traits matter and how do we measure them?

Publikation: KonferencebidragKonferenceabstrakt til konferenceForskning

In recent years, consideration of functional traits (i.e. traits that determine the role of an organism in ecosystem processes such as carbon, water and nutrient cycling) has fundamentally advanced our understanding of the mechanisms that structure biodiversity and ecosystem function, as well as our ability to predict the consequences of environmental change. At the same time, palms have emerged as a model group for tropical forest community ecology, macroecology and biogeography. However, the functional ecology of palms is relatively little explored, which is unfortunate given the important role of palms in tropical forest ecosystems. We review data availability for palms for four traits that are commonly used in functional plant ecology: specific leaf area (SLA), wood density, seed size, and maximum height. We suggest that palm functional ecology is impeded by some of the standard functional traits being difficult to measure (e.g. SLA) or interpret (e.g. wood density). We show that an SLA measure can be easily obtained from dried specimens, and discuss the problems and opportunities of this approach compared to whole-leaf SLA measurements. Measuring SLA from herbarium samples may allow capturing leaf economics across large parts of the palm family with reasonable amounts of time and money.
Udgivelsesår10 maj 2014
StatusUdgivet - 10 maj 2014
BegivenhedEUNOPS XIV: European Network of Palm Scientists 14th annual meeting - Jardí Botànic de la Universitat de Valéncia, Valencia, Spanien
Varighed: 10 maj 201412 maj 2014


KonferenceEUNOPS XIV
LokationJardí Botànic de la Universitat de Valéncia

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