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      Land-plant ecology on the basis of functional traits.

      1 ,
      Trends in ecology & evolution
      Elsevier BV

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          Abstract

          The tissue traits and architectures of plant species are important for land-plant ecology in two ways. First, they control ecosystem processes and define habitat and resources for other taxa; thus, they are a high priority for understanding the ecosystem at a site. Second, knowledge of trait costs and benefits offers the most promising path to understanding how vegetation properties change along physical geography gradients. There exists an informal shortlist of plant traits that are thought to be most informative. Here, we summarize recent research on correlations and tradeoffs surrounding some traits that are prospects for the shortlist. By extending the list and by developing better models for how traits influence species distributions and interactions, a strong foundation of basic ecology can be established, with many practical applications.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Trends Ecol Evol
          Trends in ecology & evolution
          Elsevier BV
          0169-5347
          0169-5347
          May 2006
          : 21
          : 5
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW 2109, Australia. mwestoby@rna.bio.mq.edu.au
          Article
          S0169-5347(06)00056-5
          10.1016/j.tree.2006.02.004
          16697912
          d3486bb4-0129-4315-bc8d-1d314e2c618d
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