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Global plant trait relationships extend to the climatic extremes of the tundra biome

Journal article
Authors H. J.D. Thomas
Anne Bjorkman
I. H. Myers-Smith
S. C. Elmendorf
J. Kattge
S. Diaz
M. Vellend
D. Blok
J. H.C. Cornelissen
B. C. Forbes
G. H.R. Henry
R. D. Hollister
S. Normand
J. S. Prevéy
C. Rixen
G. Schaepman-Strub
M. Wilmking
S. Wipf
W. K. Cornwell
P. S.A. Beck
D. Georges
S. J. Goetz
K. C. Guay
N. Rüger
N. A. Soudzilovskaia
M. J. Spasojevic
J. M. Alatalo
H. D. Alexander
A. Anadon-Rosell
S. Angers-Blondin
M. te Beest
L. T. Berner
Robert G. Björk
A. Buchwal
A. Buras
M. Carbognani
K. S. Christie
L. S. Collier
E. J. Cooper
B. Elberling
A. Eskelinen
E. R. Frei
O. Grau
P. Grogan
M. Hallinger
M. M.P.D. Heijmans
L. Hermanutz
J. M.G. Hudson
J. F. Johnstone
K. Hülber
M. Iturrate-Garcia
C. M. Iversen
F. Jaroszynska
E. Kaarlejarvi
A. Kulonen
L. J. Lamarque
T. C. Lantz
E. Lévesque
C. J. Little
A. Michelsen
A. Milbau
J. Nabe-Nielsen
S. S. Nielsen
J. M. Ninot
S. F. Oberbauer
J. Olofsson
V. G. Onipchenko
A. Petraglia
S. B. Rumpf
R. Shetti
J. D.M. Speed
K. N. Suding
K. D. Tape
M. Tomaselli
A. J. Trant
U. A. Treier
M. Tremblay
S. E. Venn
Tage Vowles
S. Weijers
P. A. Wookey
T. J. Zamin
M. Bahn
B. Blonder
P. M. van Bodegom
B. Bond-Lamberty
G. Campetella
B. E.L. Cerabolini
F. S. Chapin
J. M. Craine
M. Dainese
W. A. Green
S. Jansen
M. Kleyer
P. Manning
Y. Onoda
W. A. Ozinga
J. Peñuelas
P. Poschlod
Published in Nature Communications
Volume 11
Issue 1
Publication year 2020
Published at Department of Earth Sciences
Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Language en
Subject categories Terrestrial ecology


© 2020, Crown. The majority of variation in six traits critical to the growth, survival and reproduction of plant species is thought to be organised along just two dimensions, corresponding to strategies of plant size and resource acquisition. However, it is unknown whether global plant trait relationships extend to climatic extremes, and if these interspecific relationships are confounded by trait variation within species. We test whether trait relationships extend to the cold extremes of life on Earth using the largest database of tundra plant traits yet compiled. We show that tundra plants demonstrate remarkably similar resource economic traits, but not size traits, compared to global distributions, and exhibit the same two dimensions of trait variation. Three quarters of trait variation occurs among species, mirroring global estimates of interspecific trait variation. Plant trait relationships are thus generalizable to the edge of global trait-space, informing prediction of plant community change in a warming world.

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