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The phenology of growth in temperate deciduous forests, including the timing of leaf emergence and senescence, has strong control over ecosystem properties such as productivity and nutrient cycling, and has an important role in the carbon economy of understory plants. Extended leaf phenology, whereby understory species assimilate carbon in early spring(More)
Landscape-driven microclimates in mountainous terrain pose significant obstacles to predicting the response of organisms to atmospheric warming, but few if any studies have documented the extent of such finescale variation over large regions. This paper demonstrates that ground-level temperature regimes in Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Tennessee and(More)
BACKGROUND Biogeographic patterns of species invasions hold important clues to solving the recalcitrant 'who', 'where', and 'why' questions of invasion biology, but the few existing studies make no attempt to distinguish alien floras (all non-native occurrences) from invasive floras (rapidly spreading species of significant management concern), nor have(More)
The search for predictions of species diversity across environmental gradients has challenged ecologists for decades. The humped-back model (HBM) suggests that plant diversity peaks at intermediate productivity; at low productivity few species can tolerate the environmental stresses, and at high productivity a few highly competitive species dominate. Over(More)
Despite increasing evidence of the importance of intraspecific trait variation in plant communities, its role in community trait responses to environmental variation, particularly along broad-scale climatic gradients, is poorly understood. We analyzed functional trait variation among early-successional herbaceous plant communities (old fields) across a(More)
Climate change is widely expected to induce large shifts in the geographic distribution of plant communities, but early successional ecosystems may be less sensitive to broad-scale climatic trends because they are driven by interactions between species that are only indirectly related to temperature and rainfall. Building on a biogeographic analysis of(More)
Non-native invasive species are often more productive aboveground than co-occurring natives. Because aboveground productivity is closely tied to plant nitrogen (N) uptake and use, high invader leaf productivity should be associated with root growth and plant N use strategies. However, little is known about the above- and belowground carbon (C) and N use(More)
Belowground processes are rarely considered in comparison studies of native verses invasive species. We examined relationships between belowground fine root production and lifespan, leaf phenology, and seasonal nitrogen dynamics of Lonicera japonica (non-native) versus L. sempervirens (native) and Frangula alnus (non-native) versus Rhamnus alnifolia(More)
Genetic diversity may play an important role in allowing individual species to resist climate change, by permitting evolutionary responses. Our understanding of the potential for such responses to climate change remains limited, and very few experimental tests have been carried out within intact ecosystems. Here, we use amplified fragment length(More)