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      Functional Resilience against Climate-Driven Extinctions – Comparing the Functional Diversity of European and North American Tree Floras

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          Abstract

          Future global change scenarios predict a dramatic loss of biodiversity for many regions in the world, potentially reducing the resistance and resilience of ecosystem functions. Once before, during Plio-Pleistocene glaciations, harsher climatic conditions in Europe as compared to North America led to a more depauperate tree flora. Here we hypothesize that this climate driven species loss has also reduced functional diversity in Europe as compared to North America. We used variation in 26 traits for 154 North American and 66 European tree species and grid-based co-occurrences derived from distribution maps to compare functional diversity patterns of the two continents. First, we identified similar regions with respect to contemporary climate in the temperate zone of North America and Europe. Second, we compared the functional diversity of both continents and for the climatically similar sub-regions using the functional dispersion-index (FDis) and the functional richness index (FRic). Third, we accounted in these comparisons for grid-scale differences in species richness, and, fourth, investigated the associated trait spaces using dimensionality reduction. For gymnosperms we find similar functional diversity on both continents, whereas for angiosperms functional diversity is significantly greater in Europe than in North America. These results are consistent across different scales, for climatically similar regions and considering species richness patterns. We decomposed these differences in trait space occupation into differences in functional diversity vs. differences in functional identity. We show that climate-driven species loss on a continental scale might be decoupled from or at least not linearly related to changes in functional diversity. This might be important when analyzing the effects of climate-driven biodiversity change on ecosystem functioning.

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          Towards a worldwide wood economics spectrum.

          Wood performs several essential functions in plants, including mechanically supporting aboveground tissue, storing water and other resources, and transporting sap. Woody tissues are likely to face physiological, structural and defensive trade-offs. How a plant optimizes among these competing functions can have major ecological implications, which have been under-appreciated by ecologists compared to the focus they have given to leaf function. To draw together our current understanding of wood function, we identify and collate data on the major wood functional traits, including the largest wood density database to date (8412 taxa), mechanical strength measures and anatomical features, as well as clade-specific features such as secondary chemistry. We then show how wood traits are related to one another, highlighting functional trade-offs, and to ecological and demographic plant features (growth form, growth rate, latitude, ecological setting). We suggest that, similar to the manifold that tree species leaf traits cluster around the 'leaf economics spectrum', a similar 'wood economics spectrum' may be defined. We then discuss the biogeography, evolution and biogeochemistry of the spectrum, and conclude by pointing out the major gaps in our current knowledge of wood functional traits.
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            Quantifying the evidence for biodiversity effects on ecosystem functioning and services.

            Concern is growing about the consequences of biodiversity loss for ecosystem functioning, for the provision of ecosystem services, and for human well being. Experimental evidence for a relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem process rates is compelling, but the issue remains contentious. Here, we present the first rigorous quantitative assessment of this relationship through meta-analysis of experimental work spanning 50 years to June 2004. We analysed 446 measures of biodiversity effects (252 in grasslands), 319 of which involved primary producer manipulations or measurements. Our analyses show that: biodiversity effects are weaker if biodiversity manipulations are less well controlled; effects of biodiversity change on processes are weaker at the ecosystem compared with the community level and are negative at the population level; productivity-related effects decline with increasing number of trophic links between those elements manipulated and those measured; biodiversity effects on stability measures ('insurance' effects) are not stronger than biodiversity effects on performance measures. For those ecosystem services which could be assessed here, there is clear evidence that biodiversity has positive effects on most. Whilst such patterns should be further confirmed, a precautionary approach to biodiversity management would seem prudent in the meantime.
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              New multidimensional functional diversity indices for a multifaceted framework in functional ecology.

              Functional diversity is increasingly identified as an important driver of ecosystem functioning. Various indices have been proposed to measure the functional diversity of a community, but there is still no consensus on which are most suitable. Indeed, none of the existing indices meets all the criteria required for general use. The main criteria are that they must be designed to deal with several traits, take into account abundances, and measure all the facets of functional diversity. Here we propose three indices to quantify each facet of functional diversity for a community with species distributed in a multidimensional functional space: functional richness (volume of the functional space occupied by the community), functional evenness (regularity of the distribution of abundance in this volume), and functional divergence (divergence in the distribution of abundance in this volume). Functional richness is estimated using the existing convex hull volume index. The new functional evenness index is based on the minimum spanning tree which links all the species in the multidimensional functional space. Then this new index quantifies the regularity with which species abundances are distributed along the spanning tree. Functional divergence is measured using a novel index which quantifies how species diverge in their distances (weighted by their abundance) from the center of gravity in the functional space. We show that none of the indices meets all the criteria required for a functional diversity index, but instead we show that the set of three complementary indices meets these criteria. Through simulations of artificial data sets, we demonstrate that functional divergence and functional evenness are independent of species richness and that the three functional diversity indices are independent of each other. Overall, our study suggests that decomposition of functional diversity into its three primary components provides a meaningful framework for its quantification and for the classification of existing functional diversity indices. This decomposition has the potential to shed light on the role of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning and on the influence of biotic and abiotic filters on the structure of species communities. Finally, we propose a general framework for applying these three functional diversity indices.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: Editor
                Journal
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                plos
                plosone
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
                1932-6203
                5 February 2016
                2016
                : 11
                : 2
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Special Botany and Functional Biodiversity, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany
                [2 ]Escuela de Biología, Universidad Industrial de Santander, Cra. 27 Calle 9, 680002, Bucaramanga, Colombia
                [3 ]Max-Planck-Institute for Biogeochemistry, Jena, Germany
                [4 ]Department of Geobotany, University of Halle/Saale, Halle/Saale, Germany
                [5 ]Systems Ecology, Dept. of Ecological Science, VU University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
                [6 ]CSIC, Global Ecology Unit CREAF-CSIC-UAB, 08193 Cerdanyola del Vallès, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
                [7 ]CREAF, 08193 Cerdanyola del Vallès, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
                [8 ]German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany
                Chinese Academy of Forestry, CHINA
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Conceived and designed the experiments: ML CW BR. Analyzed the data: ML. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: US CW JP JHCC JK BR MF EW. Wrote the paper: ML CW BR. Gave comments on the manuscript: US JP JHCC EW.

                ‡ These authors also contributed equally to this work.

                Article
                PONE-D-15-46837
                10.1371/journal.pone.0148607
                4743854
                26848836
                51f3d1cd-4bf2-4612-b1fa-b37e7e85e57a
                © 2016 Liebergesell et al

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Page count
                Figures: 4, Tables: 2, Pages: 19
                Product
                Funding
                This research was supported by the FunDivEUROPE project, receiving funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013, http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7) under grant agreement no 265171. The study was supported by the TRY initiative on plant traits ( http://www.trydb.org). The TRY initiative and database is hosted, developed and maintained at the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Jena, Germany. TRY is/has been supported by DIVERSITAS, IGBP, the Global Land Project, the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) through its program QUEST (Quantifying and Understanding the Earth System), the French Foundation for Biodiversity Research (FRB), and GIS "Climat, Environnement et Société" France. JP research was supported by the European Research Council Synergy grant ERC-2013-SyG-610028 IMBALANCE-P. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
                Categories
                Research Article
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Organisms
                Plants
                Trees
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Ecology
                Ecological Metrics
                Species Diversity
                Ecology and Environmental Sciences
                Ecology
                Ecological Metrics
                Species Diversity
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Organisms
                Plants
                Flowering Plants
                People and Places
                Geographical Locations
                Europe
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Conservation Biology
                Species Extinction
                Ecology and Environmental Sciences
                Conservation Science
                Conservation Biology
                Species Extinction
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Evolutionary Biology
                Evolutionary Processes
                Species Extinction
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Ecology
                Biodiversity
                Ecology and Environmental Sciences
                Ecology
                Biodiversity
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Organisms
                Plants
                Gymnosperms
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Ecology
                Ecosystems
                Ecosystem Functioning
                Ecology and Environmental Sciences
                Ecology
                Ecosystems
                Ecosystem Functioning
                Custom metadata
                Species co-occurrences and trait data assembled from freely available sources can be found in the Supporting Information files. Trait data from the TRY-initiative is accessible under https://www.try-db.org.

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                Uncategorized

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