Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/21932
Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Globally, functional traits are weak predictors of juvenile tree growth, and we do not know why
Authors: Paine, C E Timothy
Amissah, Lucy
Auge, Harald
Baraloto, Christopher
Baruffol, Martin
Bourland, Nils
Bruelheide, Helge
Dainou, Kasso
de, Gouvenain Roland C
Doucet, Jean-Louis
Doust, Susan
Fine, Paul V A
Fortunel, Claire
Haase, Josephine
Holl, Karen D
Contact Email: c.e.t.paine@stir.ac.uk
Keywords: functional ecology
FunDivEurope
growth
hierarchical models
plant population and community dynamics
relative growth rate
size-standardized growth rate
TreeDivNet
Issue Date: Jul-2015
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Citation: Paine CET, Amissah L, Auge H, Baraloto C, Baruffol M, Bourland N, Bruelheide H, Dainou K, de Gouvenain RC, Doucet J, Doust S, Fine PVA, Fortunel C, Haase J & Holl KD (2015) Globally, functional traits are weak predictors of juvenile tree growth, and we do not know why, Journal of Ecology, 103 (4), pp. 978-989.
Abstract: 1. Plant functional traits, in particular specific leaf area (SLA), wood density and seed mass, are often good predictors of individual tree growth rates within communities. Individuals and species with high SLA, low wood density and small seeds tend to have faster growth rates. 2. If community-level relationships between traits and growth have general predictive value, then similar relationships should also be observed in analyses that integrate across taxa, biogeographic regions and environments. Such global consistency would imply that traits could serve as valuable proxies for the complex suite of factors that determine growth rate, and, therefore, could underpin a new generation of robust dynamic vegetation models. Alternatively, growth rates may depend more strongly on the local environment or growth-trait relationships may vary along environmental gradients. 3. We tested these alternative hypotheses using data on 27352 juvenile trees, representing 278 species from 27 sites on all forested continents, and extensive functional trait data, 38% of which were obtained at the same sites at which growth was assessed. Data on potential evapotranspiration (PET), which summarizes the joint ecological effects of temperature and precipitation, were obtained from a global data base. 4. We estimated size-standardized relative height growth rates (SGR) for all species, then related them to functional traits and PET using mixed-effect models for the fastest growing species and for all species together. 5. Both the mean and 95th percentile SGR were more strongly associated with functional traits than with PET. PET was unrelated to SGR at the global scale. SGR increased with increasing SLA and decreased with increasing wood density and seed mass, but these traits explained only 3.1% of the variation in SGR. SGR-trait relationships were consistently weak across families and biogeographic zones, and over a range of tree statures. Thus, the most widely studied functional traits in plant ecology were poor predictors of tree growth over large scales. 6. Synthesis. We conclude that these functional traits alone may be unsuitable for predicting growth of trees over broad scales. Determining the functional traits that predict vital rates under specific environmental conditions may generate more insight than a monolithic global relationship can offer.
Type: Journal Article
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/21932
DOI Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1365-2745.12401
Rights: This item has been embargoed for a period. During the embargo please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Paine, C. E. T., Amissah, L., Auge, H., et al. (2015), Globally, functional traits are weak predictors of juvenile tree growth, and we do not know why. Journal of Ecology, 103: 978–989, which has been published in final form at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1365-2745.12401/full. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Notes: Additional co-authors: Hervé Jactel, Xuefei Li, Kaoru Kitajima, Julia Koricheva, Cristina Martínez-Garza, Christian Messier, Alain Paquette, Christopher Philipson, Daniel Piotto, Lourens Poorter, Juan M. Posada, Catherine Potvin, Kalle Rainio, Sabrina E. Russo, Mariacarmen Ruiz-Jaen, Michael Scherer-Lorenzen, Campbell O. Webb, S. Joseph Wright, Rakan A. Zahawi, and Andy Hector
Affiliation: Biological and Environmental Sciences
Wageningen University
UFZ
UMR "Ecologie des Forêts de Guyane", French Guiana
University of Zurich
University of Liege, Belgium
Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg
University of Liege, Belgium
Rhode Island College
University of Liege, Belgium
Australian Government Australian Antarctic Division
University of California, Berkeley
UMR "Ecologie des Forêts de Guyane", French Guiana
Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg
University of California, Santa Cruz

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Paine-JEcol-2015-0116--CETP.pdf423.79 kBAdobe PDFView/Open


This item is protected by original copyright



Items in the Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

If you believe that any material held in STORRE infringes copyright, please contact library@stir.ac.uk providing details and we will remove the Work from public display in STORRE and investigate your claim.