Global trait–environment relationships of plant communities

Helge Bruelheide, Jürgen Dengler, Oliver Purschke, Jonathan Lenoir, Borja Jiménez-Alfaro, Stephan M. Hennekens, Zoltán Botta-Dukát, Milan Chytrý, Richard Field, Florian Jansen, Jens Kattge, Valério D. Pillar, Franziska Schrodt, Miguel D. Mahecha, Robert K. Peet, Brody Sandel, Peter van Bodegom, Jan Altman, Esteban Alvarez-Dávila, Mohammed A.S. Arfin KhanFabio Attorre, Isabelle Aubin, Christopher Baraloto, Jorcely G. Barroso, Marijn Bauters, Erwin Bergmeier, Idoia Biurrun, Anne D. Bjorkman, Benjamin Blonder, Andraž Čarni, Luis Cayuela, Tomáš Černý, J. Hans C. Cornelissen, Dylan Craven, Matteo Dainese, Géraldine Derroire, Michele De Sanctis, Sandra Díaz, Jiří Doležal, William Farfan-Rios, Ted R. Feldpausch, Nicole J. Fenton, Eric Garnier, Greg R. Guerin, Alvaro G. Gutiérrez, Sylvia Haider, Tarek Hattab, Greg Henry, Bruno Hérault, Pedro Higuchi, Norbert Hölzel, Jürgen Homeier, Anke Jentsch, Norbert Jürgens, Zygmunt Kącki, Dirk N. Karger, Michael Kessler, Michael Kleyer, Ilona Knollová, Andrey Y. Korolyuk, Ingolf Kühn, Daniel C. Laughlin, Frederic Lens, Jacqueline Loos, Frédérique Louault, Mariyana I. Lyubenova, Yadvinder Malhi, Corrado Marcenò, Maurizio Mencuccini, Jonas V. Müller, Jérôme Munzinger, Isla H. Myers-Smith, David A. Neill, Ülo Niinemets, Kate H. Orwin, Wim A. Ozinga, Josep Penuelas, Aaron Pérez-Haase, Petr Petřík, Oliver L. Phillips, Meelis Pärtel, Peter B. Reich, Christine Römermann, Arthur V. Rodrigues, Francesco Maria Sabatini, Jordi Sardans, Marco Schmidt, Gunnar Seidler, Javier Eduardo Silva Espejo, Marcos Silveira, Anita Smyth, Maria Sporbert, Jens Christian Svenning, Zhiyao Tang, Raquel Thomas, Ioannis Tsiripidis, Kiril Vassilev, Cyrille Violle, Risto Virtanen, Evan Weiher, Erik Welk, Karsten Wesche, Marten Winter, Christian Wirth, Ute Jandt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Plant functional traits directly affect ecosystem functions. At the species level, trait combinations depend on trade-offs representing different ecological strategies, but at the community level trait combinations are expected to be decoupled from these trade-offs because different strategies can facilitate co-existence within communities. A key question is to what extent community-level trait composition is globally filtered and how well it is related to global versus local environmental drivers. Here, we perform a global, plot-level analysis of trait–environment relationships, using a database with more than 1.1 million vegetation plots and 26,632 plant species with trait information. Although we found a strong filtering of 17 functional traits, similar climate and soil conditions support communities differing greatly in mean trait values. The two main community trait axes that capture half of the global trait variation (plant stature and resource acquisitiveness) reflect the trade-offs at the species level but are weakly associated with climate and soil conditions at the global scale. Similarly, within-plot trait variation does not vary systematically with macro-environment. Our results indicate that, at fine spatial grain, macro-environmental drivers are much less important for functional trait composition than has been assumed from floristic analyses restricted to co-occurrence in large grid cells. Instead, trait combinations seem to be predominantly filtered by local-scale factors such as disturbance, fine-scale soil conditions, niche partitioning and biotic interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1906-1917
Number of pages12
JournalNature Ecology and Evolution
Volume2
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

plant community
plant communities
soil quality
climate conditions
climate
niche partitioning
ecosystem function
floristics
coexistence
niches
disturbance
vegetation
ecosystems
resource
soil condition
cells
analysis
plant species

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology

Cite this

Bruelheide, H., Dengler, J., Purschke, O., Lenoir, J., Jiménez-Alfaro, B., Hennekens, S. M., ... Jandt, U. (2018). Global trait–environment relationships of plant communities. Nature Ecology and Evolution, 2(12), 1906-1917. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-018-0699-8

Global trait–environment relationships of plant communities. / Bruelheide, Helge; Dengler, Jürgen; Purschke, Oliver; Lenoir, Jonathan; Jiménez-Alfaro, Borja; Hennekens, Stephan M.; Botta-Dukát, Zoltán; Chytrý, Milan; Field, Richard; Jansen, Florian; Kattge, Jens; Pillar, Valério D.; Schrodt, Franziska; Mahecha, Miguel D.; Peet, Robert K.; Sandel, Brody; van Bodegom, Peter; Altman, Jan; Alvarez-Dávila, Esteban; Arfin Khan, Mohammed A.S.; Attorre, Fabio; Aubin, Isabelle; Baraloto, Christopher; Barroso, Jorcely G.; Bauters, Marijn; Bergmeier, Erwin; Biurrun, Idoia; Bjorkman, Anne D.; Blonder, Benjamin; Čarni, Andraž; Cayuela, Luis; Černý, Tomáš; Cornelissen, J. Hans C.; Craven, Dylan; Dainese, Matteo; Derroire, Géraldine; De Sanctis, Michele; Díaz, Sandra; Doležal, Jiří; Farfan-Rios, William; Feldpausch, Ted R.; Fenton, Nicole J.; Garnier, Eric; Guerin, Greg R.; Gutiérrez, Alvaro G.; Haider, Sylvia; Hattab, Tarek; Henry, Greg; Hérault, Bruno; Higuchi, Pedro; Hölzel, Norbert; Homeier, Jürgen; Jentsch, Anke; Jürgens, Norbert; Kącki, Zygmunt; Karger, Dirk N.; Kessler, Michael; Kleyer, Michael; Knollová, Ilona; Korolyuk, Andrey Y.; Kühn, Ingolf; Laughlin, Daniel C.; Lens, Frederic; Loos, Jacqueline; Louault, Frédérique; Lyubenova, Mariyana I.; Malhi, Yadvinder; Marcenò, Corrado; Mencuccini, Maurizio; Müller, Jonas V.; Munzinger, Jérôme; Myers-Smith, Isla H.; Neill, David A.; Niinemets, Ülo; Orwin, Kate H.; Ozinga, Wim A.; Penuelas, Josep; Pérez-Haase, Aaron; Petřík, Petr; Phillips, Oliver L.; Pärtel, Meelis; Reich, Peter B.; Römermann, Christine; Rodrigues, Arthur V.; Sabatini, Francesco Maria; Sardans, Jordi; Schmidt, Marco; Seidler, Gunnar; Silva Espejo, Javier Eduardo; Silveira, Marcos; Smyth, Anita; Sporbert, Maria; Svenning, Jens Christian; Tang, Zhiyao; Thomas, Raquel; Tsiripidis, Ioannis; Vassilev, Kiril; Violle, Cyrille; Virtanen, Risto; Weiher, Evan; Welk, Erik; Wesche, Karsten; Winter, Marten; Wirth, Christian; Jandt, Ute.

In: Nature Ecology and Evolution, Vol. 2, No. 12, 01.12.2018, p. 1906-1917.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bruelheide, H, Dengler, J, Purschke, O, Lenoir, J, Jiménez-Alfaro, B, Hennekens, SM, Botta-Dukát, Z, Chytrý, M, Field, R, Jansen, F, Kattge, J, Pillar, VD, Schrodt, F, Mahecha, MD, Peet, RK, Sandel, B, van Bodegom, P, Altman, J, Alvarez-Dávila, E, Arfin Khan, MAS, Attorre, F, Aubin, I, Baraloto, C, Barroso, JG, Bauters, M, Bergmeier, E, Biurrun, I, Bjorkman, AD, Blonder, B, Čarni, A, Cayuela, L, Černý, T, Cornelissen, JHC, Craven, D, Dainese, M, Derroire, G, De Sanctis, M, Díaz, S, Doležal, J, Farfan-Rios, W, Feldpausch, TR, Fenton, NJ, Garnier, E, Guerin, GR, Gutiérrez, AG, Haider, S, Hattab, T, Henry, G, Hérault, B, Higuchi, P, Hölzel, N, Homeier, J, Jentsch, A, Jürgens, N, Kącki, Z, Karger, DN, Kessler, M, Kleyer, M, Knollová, I, Korolyuk, AY, Kühn, I, Laughlin, DC, Lens, F, Loos, J, Louault, F, Lyubenova, MI, Malhi, Y, Marcenò, C, Mencuccini, M, Müller, JV, Munzinger, J, Myers-Smith, IH, Neill, DA, Niinemets, Ü, Orwin, KH, Ozinga, WA, Penuelas, J, Pérez-Haase, A, Petřík, P, Phillips, OL, Pärtel, M, Reich, PB, Römermann, C, Rodrigues, AV, Sabatini, FM, Sardans, J, Schmidt, M, Seidler, G, Silva Espejo, JE, Silveira, M, Smyth, A, Sporbert, M, Svenning, JC, Tang, Z, Thomas, R, Tsiripidis, I, Vassilev, K, Violle, C, Virtanen, R, Weiher, E, Welk, E, Wesche, K, Winter, M, Wirth, C & Jandt, U 2018, 'Global trait–environment relationships of plant communities', Nature Ecology and Evolution, vol. 2, no. 12, pp. 1906-1917. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-018-0699-8
Bruelheide H, Dengler J, Purschke O, Lenoir J, Jiménez-Alfaro B, Hennekens SM et al. Global trait–environment relationships of plant communities. Nature Ecology and Evolution. 2018 Dec 1;2(12):1906-1917. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-018-0699-8
Bruelheide, Helge ; Dengler, Jürgen ; Purschke, Oliver ; Lenoir, Jonathan ; Jiménez-Alfaro, Borja ; Hennekens, Stephan M. ; Botta-Dukát, Zoltán ; Chytrý, Milan ; Field, Richard ; Jansen, Florian ; Kattge, Jens ; Pillar, Valério D. ; Schrodt, Franziska ; Mahecha, Miguel D. ; Peet, Robert K. ; Sandel, Brody ; van Bodegom, Peter ; Altman, Jan ; Alvarez-Dávila, Esteban ; Arfin Khan, Mohammed A.S. ; Attorre, Fabio ; Aubin, Isabelle ; Baraloto, Christopher ; Barroso, Jorcely G. ; Bauters, Marijn ; Bergmeier, Erwin ; Biurrun, Idoia ; Bjorkman, Anne D. ; Blonder, Benjamin ; Čarni, Andraž ; Cayuela, Luis ; Černý, Tomáš ; Cornelissen, J. Hans C. ; Craven, Dylan ; Dainese, Matteo ; Derroire, Géraldine ; De Sanctis, Michele ; Díaz, Sandra ; Doležal, Jiří ; Farfan-Rios, William ; Feldpausch, Ted R. ; Fenton, Nicole J. ; Garnier, Eric ; Guerin, Greg R. ; Gutiérrez, Alvaro G. ; Haider, Sylvia ; Hattab, Tarek ; Henry, Greg ; Hérault, Bruno ; Higuchi, Pedro ; Hölzel, Norbert ; Homeier, Jürgen ; Jentsch, Anke ; Jürgens, Norbert ; Kącki, Zygmunt ; Karger, Dirk N. ; Kessler, Michael ; Kleyer, Michael ; Knollová, Ilona ; Korolyuk, Andrey Y. ; Kühn, Ingolf ; Laughlin, Daniel C. ; Lens, Frederic ; Loos, Jacqueline ; Louault, Frédérique ; Lyubenova, Mariyana I. ; Malhi, Yadvinder ; Marcenò, Corrado ; Mencuccini, Maurizio ; Müller, Jonas V. ; Munzinger, Jérôme ; Myers-Smith, Isla H. ; Neill, David A. ; Niinemets, Ülo ; Orwin, Kate H. ; Ozinga, Wim A. ; Penuelas, Josep ; Pérez-Haase, Aaron ; Petřík, Petr ; Phillips, Oliver L. ; Pärtel, Meelis ; Reich, Peter B. ; Römermann, Christine ; Rodrigues, Arthur V. ; Sabatini, Francesco Maria ; Sardans, Jordi ; Schmidt, Marco ; Seidler, Gunnar ; Silva Espejo, Javier Eduardo ; Silveira, Marcos ; Smyth, Anita ; Sporbert, Maria ; Svenning, Jens Christian ; Tang, Zhiyao ; Thomas, Raquel ; Tsiripidis, Ioannis ; Vassilev, Kiril ; Violle, Cyrille ; Virtanen, Risto ; Weiher, Evan ; Welk, Erik ; Wesche, Karsten ; Winter, Marten ; Wirth, Christian ; Jandt, Ute. / Global trait–environment relationships of plant communities. In: Nature Ecology and Evolution. 2018 ; Vol. 2, No. 12. pp. 1906-1917.
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abstract = "Plant functional traits directly affect ecosystem functions. At the species level, trait combinations depend on trade-offs representing different ecological strategies, but at the community level trait combinations are expected to be decoupled from these trade-offs because different strategies can facilitate co-existence within communities. A key question is to what extent community-level trait composition is globally filtered and how well it is related to global versus local environmental drivers. Here, we perform a global, plot-level analysis of trait–environment relationships, using a database with more than 1.1 million vegetation plots and 26,632 plant species with trait information. Although we found a strong filtering of 17 functional traits, similar climate and soil conditions support communities differing greatly in mean trait values. The two main community trait axes that capture half of the global trait variation (plant stature and resource acquisitiveness) reflect the trade-offs at the species level but are weakly associated with climate and soil conditions at the global scale. Similarly, within-plot trait variation does not vary systematically with macro-environment. Our results indicate that, at fine spatial grain, macro-environmental drivers are much less important for functional trait composition than has been assumed from floristic analyses restricted to co-occurrence in large grid cells. Instead, trait combinations seem to be predominantly filtered by local-scale factors such as disturbance, fine-scale soil conditions, niche partitioning and biotic interactions.",
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T1 - Global trait–environment relationships of plant communities

AU - Bruelheide, Helge

AU - Dengler, Jürgen

AU - Purschke, Oliver

AU - Lenoir, Jonathan

AU - Jiménez-Alfaro, Borja

AU - Hennekens, Stephan M.

AU - Botta-Dukát, Zoltán

AU - Chytrý, Milan

AU - Field, Richard

AU - Jansen, Florian

AU - Kattge, Jens

AU - Pillar, Valério D.

AU - Schrodt, Franziska

AU - Mahecha, Miguel D.

AU - Peet, Robert K.

AU - Sandel, Brody

AU - van Bodegom, Peter

AU - Altman, Jan

AU - Alvarez-Dávila, Esteban

AU - Arfin Khan, Mohammed A.S.

AU - Attorre, Fabio

AU - Aubin, Isabelle

AU - Baraloto, Christopher

AU - Barroso, Jorcely G.

AU - Bauters, Marijn

AU - Bergmeier, Erwin

AU - Biurrun, Idoia

AU - Bjorkman, Anne D.

AU - Blonder, Benjamin

AU - Čarni, Andraž

AU - Cayuela, Luis

AU - Černý, Tomáš

AU - Cornelissen, J. Hans C.

AU - Craven, Dylan

AU - Dainese, Matteo

AU - Derroire, Géraldine

AU - De Sanctis, Michele

AU - Díaz, Sandra

AU - Doležal, Jiří

AU - Farfan-Rios, William

AU - Feldpausch, Ted R.

AU - Fenton, Nicole J.

AU - Garnier, Eric

AU - Guerin, Greg R.

AU - Gutiérrez, Alvaro G.

AU - Haider, Sylvia

AU - Hattab, Tarek

AU - Henry, Greg

AU - Hérault, Bruno

AU - Higuchi, Pedro

AU - Hölzel, Norbert

AU - Homeier, Jürgen

AU - Jentsch, Anke

AU - Jürgens, Norbert

AU - Kącki, Zygmunt

AU - Karger, Dirk N.

AU - Kessler, Michael

AU - Kleyer, Michael

AU - Knollová, Ilona

AU - Korolyuk, Andrey Y.

AU - Kühn, Ingolf

AU - Laughlin, Daniel C.

AU - Lens, Frederic

AU - Loos, Jacqueline

AU - Louault, Frédérique

AU - Lyubenova, Mariyana I.

AU - Malhi, Yadvinder

AU - Marcenò, Corrado

AU - Mencuccini, Maurizio

AU - Müller, Jonas V.

AU - Munzinger, Jérôme

AU - Myers-Smith, Isla H.

AU - Neill, David A.

AU - Niinemets, Ülo

AU - Orwin, Kate H.

AU - Ozinga, Wim A.

AU - Penuelas, Josep

AU - Pérez-Haase, Aaron

AU - Petřík, Petr

AU - Phillips, Oliver L.

AU - Pärtel, Meelis

AU - Reich, Peter B.

AU - Römermann, Christine

AU - Rodrigues, Arthur V.

AU - Sabatini, Francesco Maria

AU - Sardans, Jordi

AU - Schmidt, Marco

AU - Seidler, Gunnar

AU - Silva Espejo, Javier Eduardo

AU - Silveira, Marcos

AU - Smyth, Anita

AU - Sporbert, Maria

AU - Svenning, Jens Christian

AU - Tang, Zhiyao

AU - Thomas, Raquel

AU - Tsiripidis, Ioannis

AU - Vassilev, Kiril

AU - Violle, Cyrille

AU - Virtanen, Risto

AU - Weiher, Evan

AU - Welk, Erik

AU - Wesche, Karsten

AU - Winter, Marten

AU - Wirth, Christian

AU - Jandt, Ute

PY - 2018/12/1

Y1 - 2018/12/1

N2 - Plant functional traits directly affect ecosystem functions. At the species level, trait combinations depend on trade-offs representing different ecological strategies, but at the community level trait combinations are expected to be decoupled from these trade-offs because different strategies can facilitate co-existence within communities. A key question is to what extent community-level trait composition is globally filtered and how well it is related to global versus local environmental drivers. Here, we perform a global, plot-level analysis of trait–environment relationships, using a database with more than 1.1 million vegetation plots and 26,632 plant species with trait information. Although we found a strong filtering of 17 functional traits, similar climate and soil conditions support communities differing greatly in mean trait values. The two main community trait axes that capture half of the global trait variation (plant stature and resource acquisitiveness) reflect the trade-offs at the species level but are weakly associated with climate and soil conditions at the global scale. Similarly, within-plot trait variation does not vary systematically with macro-environment. Our results indicate that, at fine spatial grain, macro-environmental drivers are much less important for functional trait composition than has been assumed from floristic analyses restricted to co-occurrence in large grid cells. Instead, trait combinations seem to be predominantly filtered by local-scale factors such as disturbance, fine-scale soil conditions, niche partitioning and biotic interactions.

AB - Plant functional traits directly affect ecosystem functions. At the species level, trait combinations depend on trade-offs representing different ecological strategies, but at the community level trait combinations are expected to be decoupled from these trade-offs because different strategies can facilitate co-existence within communities. A key question is to what extent community-level trait composition is globally filtered and how well it is related to global versus local environmental drivers. Here, we perform a global, plot-level analysis of trait–environment relationships, using a database with more than 1.1 million vegetation plots and 26,632 plant species with trait information. Although we found a strong filtering of 17 functional traits, similar climate and soil conditions support communities differing greatly in mean trait values. The two main community trait axes that capture half of the global trait variation (plant stature and resource acquisitiveness) reflect the trade-offs at the species level but are weakly associated with climate and soil conditions at the global scale. Similarly, within-plot trait variation does not vary systematically with macro-environment. Our results indicate that, at fine spatial grain, macro-environmental drivers are much less important for functional trait composition than has been assumed from floristic analyses restricted to co-occurrence in large grid cells. Instead, trait combinations seem to be predominantly filtered by local-scale factors such as disturbance, fine-scale soil conditions, niche partitioning and biotic interactions.

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