William K. Cornwell

Learn More
SUMMARY Picante is a software package that provides a comprehensive set of tools for analyzing the phylogenetic and trait diversity of ecological communities. The package calculates phylogenetic diversity metrics, performs trait comparative analyses, manipulates phenotypic and phylogenetic data, and performs tests for phylogenetic signal in trait(More)
Taxa co-occurring in communities often represent a nonrandom sample, in phenotypic or phylogenetic terms, of the regional species pool. While heuristic arguments have identified processes that create community phylogenetic patterns, further progress hinges on a more comprehensive understanding of the interactions between underlying ecological and(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)
Diversity effects on many aspects of ecosystem function have been well documented. However, fire is an exception: fire experiments have mainly included single species, bulk litter, or vegetation, and, as such, the role of diversity as a determinant of flammability, a crucial aspect of ecosystem function, is poorly understood. This study is the first to(More)
Early flowering plants are thought to have been woody species restricted to warm habitats. This lineage has since radiated into almost every climate, with manifold growth forms. As angiosperms spread and climate changed, they evolved mechanisms to cope with episodic freezing. To explore the evolution of traits underpinning the ability to persist in freezing(More)
  • Alexander S Flecker, Brad W Taylor, Emily S Bernhardt, James M Hood, William K Cornwell, Shawn R Cassatt +2 others
  • 2002
Ecologists have long been interested in understanding the strengths of consumer and resource limitation in influencing communities. Here we ask three questions concerning the relative importance of nutrients and grazing fishes to primary producers of a tropical Andean stream: (1) Are stream algae nutrient limited? (2) Are top-down and bottom-up forces of(More)
Symbiotic associations occur in every habitat on earth, but we know very little about their evolutionary histories. Current models of trait evolution cannot adequately reconstruct the deep history of symbiotic innovation, because they assume homogenous evolutionary processes across millions of years. Here we use a recently developed, heterogeneous and(More)
Community assembly through species invasions is a long-term process, for which vital information regarding future trends can be contained in current patterns. Using comparative analyses of native and exotic plant assemblages from meadow patches on islands in British Columbia, Canada, we examined multiple lines of evidence for ‘invasion debt’, a latent(More)
Fire is important to climate, element cycles and plant communities, with many fires spreading via surface litter. The influence of species on the spread of surface fire is mediated by their traits which, after senescence and abscission, have 'afterlife' effects on litter flammability. We hypothesized that differences in litter flammability among gymnosperms(More)
Aim Recent meta-analyses have revealed that plant traits and their phylogenetic history influence decay rates of dead wood and leaf litter, but it remains unknown if decay rates of wood and litter covary over a wide range of tree species and across ecosystems. We evaluated the relationships between species-specific wood and leaf litter decomposability, as(More)