Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 538232
Title Can traits predict individual growth performance? A test in a hyperdiverse tropical forest
Author(s) Poorter, Lourens; Castilho, Carolina V.; Schietti, Juliana; Oliveira, Rafael S.; Costa, Flávia R.C.
Source New Phytologist 219 (2018)1. - ISSN 0028-646X - p. 109 - 121.
DOI https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.15206
Department(s) Forest Ecology and Forest Management
PE&RC
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2018
Keyword(s) acclimation - Amazon - defense - functional traits - growth - plant strategies - plasticity - tropical rainforest
Abstract The functional trait approach has, as a central tenet, that plant traits are functional and shape individual performance, but this has rarely been tested in the field. Here, we tested the individual-based trait approach in a hyperdiverse Amazonian tropical rainforest and evaluated intraspecific variation in trait values, plant strategies at the individual level, and whether traits are functional and predict individual performance. We evaluated > 1300 tree saplings belonging to > 383 species, measured 25 traits related to growth and defense, and evaluated the effects of environmental conditions, plant size, and traits on stem growth. A total of 44% of the trait variation was observed within species, indicating a strong potential for acclimation. Individuals showed two strategy spectra, related to tissue toughness and organ size vs leaf display. In this nutrient- and light-limited forest, traits measured at the individual level were surprisingly poor predictors of individual growth performance because of convergence of traits and growth rates. Functional trait approaches based on individuals or species are conceptually fundamentally different: the species-based approach focuses on the potential and the individual-based approach on the realized traits and growth rates. Counterintuitively, the individual approach leads to a poor prediction of individual performance, although it provides a more realistic view on community dynamics.
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