Publication details

Testing community assembly predictions for nominal and continuous plant traits in species-rich grasslands

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Year of publication 2011
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Preslia : časopis české botanické společnosti
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Field Botany
Keywords coexistence; diversity; environmental filtering; functional diversity; limiting similarity; plant functional traits; trait convergence; trait dispersion; trait divergence
Description We investigated patterns of trait-based community assembly in grasslands using continuous and nominal species-level traits. Plant species were randomly organized with respect to both maximum and minimum species height; however, coexisting plant species had a significantly smaller mean seed mass than expected by chance, and were significantly convergent in seed mass. These patterns were most pronounced in wet grasslands. Grasslands were non-randomly assembled with respect to five of our ten traits including seed mass, fruit type, CGO, branching type and leaf distribution. Among these, only patterns of branching type clearly conformed to the predictions from Limiting Similarity Theory, suggesting that variation in this trait may contribute to species coexistence in these grasslands. In general, patterns were consistent across the two plot sizes. For four traits plot-level effect sizes varied significantly with biomass production and for seven of ten traits they varied significantly with soil moisture.
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