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Similar below-ground carbon cycling dynamics but contrasting modes of nitrogen cycling between arbuscular mycorrhizal and ectomycorrhizal forests

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New Phytologist

Wiley-Blackwell

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      Multimodel inference in ecology and evolution: challenges and solutions.

      Information theoretic approaches and model averaging are increasing in popularity, but this approach can be difficult to apply to the realistic, complex models that typify many ecological and evolutionary analyses. This is especially true for those researchers without a formal background in information theory. Here, we highlight a number of practical obstacles to model averaging complex models. Although not meant to be an exhaustive review, we identify several important issues with tentative solutions where they exist (e.g. dealing with collinearity amongst predictors; how to compute model-averaged parameters) and highlight areas for future research where solutions are not clear (e.g. when to use random intercepts or slopes; which information criteria to use when random factors are involved). We also provide a worked example of a mixed model analysis of inbreeding depression in a wild population. By providing an overview of these issues, we hope that this approach will become more accessible to those investigating any process where multiple variables impact an evolutionary or ecological response. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2011 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.
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        Plant species traits are the predominant control on litter decomposition rates within biomes worldwide.

        Worldwide decomposition rates depend both on climate and the legacy of plant functional traits as litter quality. To quantify the degree to which functional differentiation among species affects their litter decomposition rates, we brought together leaf trait and litter mass loss data for 818 species from 66 decomposition experiments on six continents. We show that: (i) the magnitude of species-driven differences is much larger than previously thought and greater than climate-driven variation; (ii) the decomposability of a species' litter is consistently correlated with that species' ecological strategy within different ecosystems globally, representing a new connection between whole plant carbon strategy and biogeochemical cycling. This connection between plant strategies and decomposability is crucial for both understanding vegetation-soil feedbacks, and for improving forecasts of the global carbon cycle.
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          Biomass allocation to leaves, stems and roots: meta-analyses of interspecific variation and environmental control.

          We quantified the biomass allocation patterns to leaves, stems and roots in vegetative plants, and how this is influenced by the growth environment, plant size, evolutionary history and competition. Dose-response curves of allocation were constructed by means of a meta-analysis from a wide array of experimental data. They show that the fraction of whole-plant mass represented by leaves (LMF) increases most strongly with nutrients and decreases most strongly with light. Correction for size-induced allocation patterns diminishes the LMF-response to light, but makes the effect of temperature on LMF more apparent. There is a clear phylogenetic effect on allocation, as eudicots invest relatively more than monocots in leaves, as do gymnosperms compared with woody angiosperms. Plants grown at high densities show a clear increase in the stem fraction. However, in most comparisons across species groups or environmental factors, the variation in LMF is smaller than the variation in one of the other components of the growth analysis equation: the leaf area : leaf mass ratio (SLA). In competitive situations, the stem mass fraction increases to a smaller extent than the specific stem length (stem length : stem mass). Thus, we conclude that plants generally are less able to adjust allocation than to alter organ morphology. © 2011 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2011 New Phytologist Trust.
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            Author and article information

            Journal
            New Phytologist
            New Phytol
            Wiley-Blackwell
            0028646X
            February 2017
            February 28 2017
            : 213
            : 3
            : 1440-1451
            10.1111/nph.14206
            © 2017

            http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/tdm_license_1.1

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