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Bringing together leaf trait data spanning 2,548 species and 175 sites we describe, for the first time at global scale, a universal spectrum of leaf economics consisting of key chemical, structural and physiological properties. The spectrum runs from quick to slow return on investments of nutrients and dry mass in leaves, and operates largely independently(More)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 336 Introduction and discussion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 336 The protocol handbook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 337 1. Selection of plants and statistical considerations . . . 337 1.1 Selection of species in a community or ecosystem . . . . . . . . . .(More)
1. The concept of plant functional type proposes that species can be grouped according to common responses to the environment and/or common effects on ecosystem processes. However, the knowledge of relationships between traits associated with the response of plants to environmental factors such as resources and disturbances (response traits), and traits(More)
Worldwide decomposition rates depend both on climate and the legacy of plant functional traits as litter quality. To quantify the degree to which functional differentiation among species affects their litter decomposition rates, we brought together leaf trait and litter mass loss data for 818 species from 66 decomposition experiments on six continents. We(More)
Global-scale quantification of relationships between plant traits gives insight into the evolution of the world's vegetation, and is crucial for parameterizing vegetation-climate models. A database was compiled, comprising data for hundreds to thousands of species for the core 'leaf economics' traits leaf lifespan, leaf mass per area, photosynthetic(More)
We developed a quantitative method, analogous to those used in statistical mechanics, to predict how biodiversity will vary across environments, which plant species from a species pool will be found in which relative abundances in a given environment, and which plant traits determine community assembly. This provides a scaling from plant traits to(More)
Land use and climate changes induce shifts in plant functional diversity and community structure, thereby modifying ecosystem processes. This is particularly true for litter decomposition, an essential process in the biogeochemical cycles of carbon and nutrients. In this study, we asked whether changes in functional traits of living leaves in response to(More)
BACKGROUND AND AIMS Leaf thickness plays an important role in leaf and plant functioning, and relates to a species' strategy of resource acquisition and use. As such, it has been widely used for screening purposes in crop science and community ecology. However, since its measurement is not straightforward, a number of estimates have been proposed. Here, the(More)
BACKGROUND AND AIMS A standardized methodology to assess the impacts of land-use changes on vegetation and ecosystem functioning is presented. It assumes that species traits are central to these impacts, and is designed to be applicable in different historical, climatic contexts and local settings. Preliminary results are presented to show its(More)
1 Laboratoire d’Ecologie Alpine, CNRS UMR 5553, Université Joseph Fourier, BP 53X, 38041 Grenoble Cedex 9, France. sandra.lavorel@ujf-grenoble.fr 2 Instituto Multidisciplinario de Biología Vegetal (CONICET – UNC) and FCECFyN, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina 3 Department of System Ecology, Institute of Ecological Science, Vrije Universiteit, De(More)