Functional trait trade-off and species abundance: insights from a multi-decadal study

Xing Yue M. Ge, Joshua P. Scholl, Ursula Basinger, Travis E. Huxman, David L Venable

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Phylogenetically informed trait comparisons across entire communities show promise in advancing community ecology. We use this approach to better understand the composition of a community of winter annual plants with multiple decades of monitoring and detailed morphological, phenological and physiological measurements. Previous research on this system revealed a physiological trade-off among dominant species that accurately predicts population and community dynamics. Here we expanded our investigation to 51 species, representing 96% of individual plants recorded over 30 years, and analysed trait relationships in the context of species abundance and phylogenetic relationships. We found that the functional-trait trade-off scales to the entire community, albeit with diminished strength. It is strongest for dominant species and weakens as progressively rarer species are included. The trade-off has been consistently expressed over three decades of environmental change despite some turnover in the identity of dominant species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEcology Letters
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019

Fingerprint

trade-off
community ecology
winter
monitoring
phylogeny
annual plant
community dynamics
rare species
environmental change
population dynamics
turnover
phylogenetics

Keywords

  • Abundance
  • annual plants
  • coexistence
  • community phylogenetics
  • functional traits
  • macroecology
  • physiological trade-offs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Functional trait trade-off and species abundance : insights from a multi-decadal study. / Ge, Xing Yue M.; Scholl, Joshua P.; Basinger, Ursula; Huxman, Travis E.; Venable, David L.

In: Ecology Letters, 01.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ge, Xing Yue M. ; Scholl, Joshua P. ; Basinger, Ursula ; Huxman, Travis E. ; Venable, David L. / Functional trait trade-off and species abundance : insights from a multi-decadal study. In: Ecology Letters. 2019.
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