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      A trait-based approach to comparative functional plant ecology: concepts, methods and applications for agroecology. A review

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      Agronomy for Sustainable Development

      Springer Nature

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          The worldwide leaf economics spectrum.

          Bringing together leaf trait data spanning 2,548 species and 175 sites we describe, for the first time at global scale, a universal spectrum of leaf economics consisting of key chemical, structural and physiological properties. The spectrum runs from quick to slow return on investments of nutrients and dry mass in leaves, and operates largely independently of growth form, plant functional type or biome. Categories along the spectrum would, in general, describe leaf economic variation at the global scale better than plant functional types, because functional types overlap substantially in their leaf traits. Overall, modulation of leaf traits and trait relationships by climate is surprisingly modest, although some striking and significant patterns can be seen. Reliable quantification of the leaf economics spectrum and its interaction with climate will prove valuable for modelling nutrient fluxes and vegetation boundaries under changing land-use and climate.
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            EFFECTS OF BIODIVERSITY ON ECOSYSTEM FUNCTIONING: A CONSENSUS OF CURRENT KNOWLEDGE

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              Rebuilding community ecology from functional traits.

              There is considerable debate about whether community ecology will ever produce general principles. We suggest here that this can be achieved but that community ecology has lost its way by focusing on pairwise species interactions independent of the environment. We assert that community ecology should return to an emphasis on four themes that are tied together by a two-step process: how the fundamental niche is governed by functional traits within the context of abiotic environmental gradients; and how the interaction between traits and fundamental niches maps onto the realized niche in the context of a biotic interaction milieu. We suggest this approach can create a more quantitative and predictive science that can more readily address issues of global change.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Agronomy for Sustainable Development
                Agron. Sustain. Dev.
                Springer Nature
                1774-0746
                1773-0155
                April 2012
                August 2011
                : 32
                : 2
                : 365-399
                Article
                10.1007/s13593-011-0036-y
                © 2012
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