Complex trait‒environment relationships underlie the structure of forest plant communities

Andres Rolhauser, Donald Waller & Caroline Tucker
Traits differentially adapt plant species to particular conditions generating compositional shifts along environmental gradients. As a result, community-scale trait values show concomitant shifts, termed trait‒environment relationships. Trait‒environment relationships are often assessed by evaluating community-weighted mean (CWM) traits observed along environmental gradients. Regression-based approaches (CWMr) assume that local communities exhibit traits centered at a single optimum value and that traits do not covary meaningfully. Evidence suggests that the shape of trait‒abundance relationships can vary widely along...
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