Global plant trait relationships extend to the climatic extremes of the tundra biome

Nature Communications
By: , and 

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Abstract

The majority of variation in six traits critical to the growth, survival and reproduction of global 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.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Global plant trait relationships extend to the climatic extremes of the tundra biome
Series title Nature Communications
DOI 10.1038/s41467-020-15014-4
Volume 11
Year Published 2020
Language English
Publisher Nature
Contributing office(s) Fort Collins Science Center
Description 1351, 12 p.
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