Peter B. Reich

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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)
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)
A global data set including 5,087 observations of leaf nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) for 1,280 plant species at 452 sites and of associated mean climate indices demonstrates broad biogeographic patterns. In general, leaf N and P decline and the N/P ratio increases toward the equator as average temperature and growing season length increase. These patterns(More)
Plant diversity and niche complementarity had progressively stronger effects on ecosystem functioning during a 7-year experiment, with 16-species plots attaining 2.7 times greater biomass than monocultures. Diversity effects were neither transients nor explained solely by a few productive or unviable species. Rather, many higher-diversity plots outperformed(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)
Humans are modifying both the identities and numbers of species in ecosystems, but the impacts of such changes on ecosystem processes are controversial. Plant species diversity, functional diversity, and functional composition were experimentally varied in grassland plots. Each factor by itself had significant effects on many ecosystem processes, but(More)
Ratios of nitrogen (N) isotopes in leaves could elucidate underlying patterns of N cycling across ecological gradients. To better understand global-scale patterns of N cycling, we compiled data on foliar N isotope ratios (delta(15)N), foliar N concentrations, mycorrhizal type and climate for over 11,000 plants worldwide. Arbuscular mycorrhizal,(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)