||Predicting habitat affinities of plant species using commonly measured functional traits
||Shipley, B.; Belluau, M.; Kühn, I.
; Soudzilovskaia, N.A.; Bahn, M.; Penuelas, J.; Kattge, J.; Sack, L.; Cavender-Bares, J.; Ozinga, W.A.; Blonder, B.; van Bodegom, P.M.; Manning, P.; Hickler, T.; Sosinski, E.; Pillar, V.D.; Onipchenko, V.G.; Poschlod, P.
|Journal / Serie
||Journal of Vegetation Science
||Environmental gradients; Habitat affinities; Habitat fertility; Leaf dry matter content; Leaf size; Seed size; Shade; Specific leaf area; Soil moisture; Soil nutrients; Understorey plants; Wetlands
Ellenberg classically defined “indicator” scores for species
representing their typical positions along gradients of key
environmental variables, and these have proven very useful for
designating ecological distributions. We tested a key tenent of
trait-based ecology, i.e. the ability to predict ecological preferences
from species’ traits. More specifically, can we predict Ellenberg
indicator scores for soil nutrients, soil moisture and irradiance from
four well-studied traits: leaf area, leaf dry matter content, specific
leaf area (SLA) and seed mass? Can we use such relationships to estimate
Ellenberg scores for species never classified by Ellenberg?
link models were developed to predict Ellenberg nutrients, irradiance
and moisture values from Ln-transformed trait values using 922, 981 and
988 species, respectively. We then independently tested these prediction
equations using the trait values of 423 and 421 new species that
occurred elsewere in Europe, North America and Morocco, and whose
habitat affinities we could classify from independent sources as
three-level ordinal ranks related to soil moisture and irradiance. The
traits were SLA, leaf dry matter content, leaf area and seed mass.
four functional traits predicted the Ellenberg indicator scores of site
fertility, light and moisture with average error rates of <2
Ellenberg ranks out of nine. We then used the trait values of 423 and
421 species, respectively, that occurred (mostly) outside of Germany but
whose habitat affinities we could classify as three-level ordinal ranks
related to soil moisture and irradiance. The predicted positions of the
new species, given the equations derived from the Ellenberg indices,
agreed well with their independent habitat classifications, although our
equation for Ellenberg irrandiance levels performed poorly on the lower
prediction equations, and their eventual extensions, could be used to
provide approximate descriptions of habitat affinities of large numbers
of species worldwide.
|Shipley, B., Belluau, M., Kühn, I., Soudzilovskaia, N.A., Bahn, M., Penuelas, J., Kattge, J., Sack, L., Cavender-Bares, J., Ozinga, W.A., Blonder, B., van Bodegom, P.M., Manning, P., Hickler, T., Sosinski, E., Pillar, V.D., Onipchenko, V.G., Poschlod, P. (2017):
Predicting habitat affinities of plant species using commonly measured functional traits
J. Veg. Sci. 28 (5), 1082 - 1095