The Influence of Taxonomy and Environment on Leaf Trait Variation Along Tropical Abiotic Gradients

Imma Oliveras, Lisa Patrick Bentley, Nikolaos M. Fyllas, Agne Gvozdevaite, Alexander Shenkin, Theresa Peprah, Paulo S. Morandi, Karine Silva Peixoto, Mickey Boakye, Stephen Adu-Bredu, Beatriz Schwantes Marimon, Ben Hur Marimon-Junior, Norma Salinas, Roberta E. Martin, Gregory P. Asner, Sandra Díaz, Brian J. Enquist, Yadvinder Malhi

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16 Citas (Scopus)


Deconstructing functional trait variation and co-variation across a wide range of environmental conditions is necessary to increase the mechanistic understanding of community assembly processes and improve current parameterization of dynamic vegetation models. Here, we present a study that deconstructs leaf trait variation and co-variation into within-species, taxonomic-, and plot-environment components along three tropical environmental gradients in Peru, Brazil, and Ghana. To do so, we measured photosynthetic, chemical, and structural leaf traits using a standardized sampling protocol for more than 1,000 individuals belonging to 367 species. Variation associated with the taxonomic component (species + genus + family) for most traits was relatively consistent across environmental gradients, but within-species variation and plot-environment variation was strongly dependent on the environmental gradient. Trait-trait co-variation was strongly linked to the environmental gradient where traits were measured, although some traits had consistent co-variation components irrespective of gradient. Our results demonstrate that filtering along these tropical gradients is mostly expressed through trait taxonomic variation, but that trait co-variation is strongly dependent on the local environment, and thus global trait co-variation relationships might not always apply at smaller scales and may quickly change under future climate scenarios.
Idioma originalEspañol
PublicaciónFrontiers in Forests and Global Change
EstadoPublicada - 3 mar. 2020

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