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Journal Articles (Review Article) Ecology Letters Year : 2015

A global meta-analysis of the relative extent of intraspecific trait variation in plant communities

Alex Fajardo
  • Function : Author
Lonnie W. Aarssen
  • Function : Author
Marcos B. Carlucci
  • Function : Author
Marcus V. Cianciaruso
  • Function : Author
Vinícius De L. Dantas
  • Function : Author
Francesco De Bello
Leandro D. S. Duarte
  • Function : Author
Carlos R. Fonseca
  • Function : Author
Grégoire T. Freschet
Stéphanie Gaucherand
Kouki Hikosaka
  • Function : Author
Benjamin Jackson
  • Function : Author
Chiho Kamiyama
  • Function : Author
Masatoshi Katabuchi
  • Function : Author
Steven W. Kembel
  • Function : Author
Emilie Kichenin
  • Function : Author
Nathan J. B. Kraft
  • Function : Author
Anna Lagerström
  • Function : Author
Yuanzhi Li
  • Function : Author
Norman Mason
  • Function : Author
Tohru Nakashizuka
  • Function : Author
Jacob Mcc. Overton
  • Function : Author
Duane A. Peltzer
  • Function : Author
I. M. Pérez-Ramos
  • Function : Author
Valério D. Pillar
  • Function : Author
Honor C. Prentice
  • Function : Author
Takehiro Sasaki
  • Function : Author
Brandon S. Schamp
  • Function : Author
Bill Shipley
Maja Sundqvist
  • Function : Author
David A Wardle
  • Function : Author

Abstract

Recent studies have shown that accounting for intraspecific trait variation (ITV) may better address major questions in community ecology. However, a general picture of the relative extent of ITV compared to interspecific trait variation in plant communities is still missing. Here, we conducted a meta-analysis of the relative extent of ITV within and among plant communities worldwide, using a data set encompassing 629 communities (plots) and 36 functional traits. Overall, ITV accounted for 25% of the total trait variation within communities and 32% of the total trait variation among communities on average. The relative extent of ITV tended to be greater for whole-plant (e.g. plant height) vs. organ-level traits and for leaf chemical (e.g. leaf N and P concentration) vs. leaf morphological (e.g. leaf area and thickness) traits. The relative amount of ITV decreased with increasing species richness and spatial extent, but did not vary with plant growth form or climate. These results highlight global patterns in the relative importance of ITV in plant communities, providing practical guidelines for when researchers should include ITV in trait-based community and ecosystem studies.

Dates and versions

hal-01237101 , version 1 (02-12-2015)

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Andrew Siefert, Cyrille Violle, Loïc Chalmandrier, Cécile H. Albert, Adrien Taudiere, et al.. A global meta-analysis of the relative extent of intraspecific trait variation in plant communities. Ecology Letters, 2015, 18 (12), pp.1406--1419. ⟨10.1111/ele.12508⟩. ⟨hal-01237101⟩
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