Due to massive energetic investments in woody support structures, trees are subject to unique physiological, mechanical, and ecological pressures not experienced by herbaceous plants. Despite a wealth of studies exploring trait relationships across the entire plant kingdom, the dominant traits underpinning these unique aspects of tree form and function remain unclear. Here, by considering 18 functional traits, encompassing leaf, seed, bark, wood, crown, and root characteristics, we quantify the multidimensional relationships in tree trait expression. We find that nearly half of trait variation is captured by two axes: one reflecting leaf economics, the other reflecting tree size and competition for light. Yet these orthogonal axes reveal strong environmental convergence, exhibiting correlated responses to temperature, moisture, and elevation. By subsequently exploring multidimensional trait relationships, we show that the full dimensionality of trait space is captured by eight distinct clusters, each reflecting a unique aspect of tree form and function. Collectively, this work identifies a core set of traits needed to quantify global patterns in functional biodiversity, and it contributes to our fundamental understanding of the functioning of forests worldwide.

Global relationships in tree functional traits

Cerabolini, Bruno Enrico Leone;
2022-01-01

Abstract

Due to massive energetic investments in woody support structures, trees are subject to unique physiological, mechanical, and ecological pressures not experienced by herbaceous plants. Despite a wealth of studies exploring trait relationships across the entire plant kingdom, the dominant traits underpinning these unique aspects of tree form and function remain unclear. Here, by considering 18 functional traits, encompassing leaf, seed, bark, wood, crown, and root characteristics, we quantify the multidimensional relationships in tree trait expression. We find that nearly half of trait variation is captured by two axes: one reflecting leaf economics, the other reflecting tree size and competition for light. Yet these orthogonal axes reveal strong environmental convergence, exhibiting correlated responses to temperature, moisture, and elevation. By subsequently exploring multidimensional trait relationships, we show that the full dimensionality of trait space is captured by eight distinct clusters, each reflecting a unique aspect of tree form and function. Collectively, this work identifies a core set of traits needed to quantify global patterns in functional biodiversity, and it contributes to our fundamental understanding of the functioning of forests worldwide.
2022
2022
Biodiversity; Forests; Plant Bark; Plant Leaves; Plant Roots; Seeds; Wood; Trees
Maynard, Daniel S; Bialic-Murphy, Lalasia; Zohner, Constantin M; Averill, Colin; van den Hoogen, Johan; Ma, Haozhi; Mo, Lidong; Smith, Gabriel Reuben; Acosta, Alicia T R; Aubin, Isabelle; Berenguer, Erika; Boonman, Coline C F; Catford, Jane A; Cerabolini, Bruno Enrico Leone; Dias, Arildo S; González-Melo, Andrés; Hietz, Peter; Lusk, Christopher H; Mori, Akira S; Niinemets, Ülo; Pillar, Valério D; Pinho, Bruno X; Rosell, Julieta A; Schurr, Frank M; Sheremetev, Serge N; da Silva, Ana Carolina; Sosinski, Ênio; van Bodegom, Peter M; Weiher, Evan; Bönisch, Gerhard; Kattge, Jens; Crowther, Thomas W
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11383/2137331
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