David S Ellsworth

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Despite striking differences in climate, soils, and evolutionary history among diverse biomes ranging from tropical and temperate forests to alpine tundra and desert, we found similar interspecific relationships among leaf structure and function and plant growth in all biomes. Our results thus demonstrate convergent evolution and global generality in plant(More)
Convergence in interspecific leaf trait relationships across diverse taxonomic groups and biomes would have important evolutionary and ecological implications. Such convergence has been hypothesized to result from trade-offs that limit the combination of plant traits for any species. Here we address this issue by testing for biome differences in the slope(More)
Human actions are causing declines in plant biodiversity, increases in atmospheric CO2 concentrations and increases in nitrogen deposition; however, the interactive effects of these factors on ecosystem processes are unknown. Reduced biodiversity has raised numerous concerns, including the possibility that ecosystem functioning may be affected negatively,(More)
Enhanced plant biomass accumulation in response to elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration could dampen the future rate of increase in CO2 levels and associated climate warming. However, it is unknown whether CO2-induced stimulation of plant growth and biomass accumulation will be sustained or whether limited nitrogen (N) availability constrains greater(More)
The effects of disturbance history, climate, and changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration and nitrogen deposition (Ndep) on carbon and water fluxes in seven North American evergreen forests are assessed using a coupled water–carbon–nitrogen model, canopy-scale flux observations, and descriptions of the vegetation type, management practices,(More)
Northern mid-latitude forests are a large terrestrial carbon sink. Ignoring nutrient limitations, large increases in carbon sequestration from carbon dioxide (CO2) fertilization are expected in these forests. Yet, forests are usually relegated to sites of moderate to poor fertility, where tree growth is often limited by nutrient supply, in particular(More)
Canopy structure and light interception were measured in an 18-m tall, closed canopy deciduous forest of sugar maple (Acer saccharum) in southwestern Wisconsin, USA, and related to leaf structural characteristics, N content, and leaf photosynthetic capacity. Light attenuation in the forest occurred primarily in the upper and middle portions of the canopy.(More)
We analyzed the hydraulic constraints imposed on water uptake from soils of different porosities in loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) by comparing genetically related and even-aged plantations growing in loam versus sand soil. Water use was evaluated relative to the maximum transpiration rate (E crit) allowed by the soil-leaf continuum. We expected that trees(More)
The relationships between resource availability, plant succession, and species' life history traits are often considered key to understanding variation among species and communities. Leaf lifespan is one trait important in this regard. We observed that leaf lifespan varies 30-fold among 23 species from natural and disturbed communities within a 1-km radius(More)
Based on prior evidence of coordinated multiple leaf trait scaling, we hypothesized that variation among species in leaf dark respiration rate (R d) should scale with variation in traits such as leaf nitrogen (N), leaf life-span, specific leaf area (SLA), and net photosynthetic capacity (A max). However, it is not known whether such scaling, if it exists,(More)