Plant Functional Trait Dispersion is Influenced by Spatial Scaling and Habitat Type
Weiher, Evan R.
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Community assembly is the result of ecological selection processes, dispersal processes, and random drift processes. Selection processes can cause coexisting species to be more similar or more different in traits depending on the strength of environmental filtering or resource partitioning. Differences in functional traits is also known as functional diversity. The “stress-dominance hypothesis” suggests that traits are dispersed and associated along a gradient of environmental adversity and competitive adversity. Abiotic filters, due to stress, could lead to trait convergence (i.e., similarity) because of successful species adaptations. A competitive filter causes greater resource partitioning due to a lack of environmental stress. This could lead to trait divergence (i.e., dissimilarity) because species will have a diversity of coexisting functional strategies. In addition, these patterns are likely dependent on the spatial extent of the species pool.
Forest ecology--Environmental aspects
Department of Biology
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