Optical traits perform equally well as directly-measured functional traits in explaining the impact of an invasive plant on litter decomposition

Kenny Helsen, Elisa Van Cleemput, Leonardo Bassi, Ben Somers & Olivier Honnay
1. Functional traits can help elucidate and predict the impact of invasive plant species on ecosystem functioning. Yet, this approach requires comprehensive and labor-intensive trait collection campaigns, covering intraspecific trait variation of both the invader and native species in the invaded community. One potential way to overcome these logistic constraints is using hyperspectral remote sensing technology to efficiently quantify functional trait values. Although such spectrally derived or ‘optical’ traits are known to closely link to...
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