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Functional strategies to cope with resource limitation in Mediterranean woody plant communities

Autorde la Riva, Enrique G.; Villar, Rafael; Pérez-Ramos, Ignacio Manuel ; Marañón, Teodoro
Palabras claveFunctional traits
Functional diversity
Mediterranean forests
Fecha de publicación9-jul-2015
ResumenThe functional approach has been broadly used as a robust tool to understand the rules that govern the spectrum of functional strategies in plants and their relationships with key ecosystem processes. We present here results of three trait-based studies that were carried out to better understand the underlying mechanisms that control the distribution patterns and structure of woody plant communities along environmental and temporal gradients in south Spain. Our main objectives were: 1) to understand the functional trait variation at leaf, stem and root levels along the local and regional gradients; 2) to know how functional diversity and structure vary along these environmental gradients; and 3) to evaluate the resilience of a woody plant community after an extreme climatic event. We found a high degree of functional coordination between traits belonging to different plant organs. These traits tended to co-vary along the main axis of variation that defines the economics spectrum framework. Water availability was the main abiotic driver of community functional structure, mainly determined by a process of species replacement along the gradients. The disturbed plant communities exhibited remarkable resilience after the climatic event, as they quickly returned to their initial features; however the functional diversity was associated to a lower stability in species composition along time. In conclusion, the functional approach was a good tool to understand the coordination among traits at plant level, the specialization trends and economics spectrum at species level, and the changes in spatial and temporal functional structure and their drivers at community level.
DescripciónCommunication presented in the session "Functional Ecology and Environmental Change" at the 4th Iberian Congress of Ecology, Coimbra (Portugal), 16-19 June 2015.
Versión del editor10.7818/4IberianEcologicalCongress.2015
Aparece en las colecciones: (IRNAS) Comunicaciones congresos
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