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Journal Article

The global spectrum of plant form and function

MPS-Authors
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Kattge,  Jens
Interdepartmental Max Planck Fellow Group Functional Biogeography, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Wirth,  Christian
Interdepartmental Max Planck Fellow Group Functional Biogeography, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Bönisch,  Gerhard
Interdepartmental Max Planck Fellow Group Functional Biogeography, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Joswig,  Julia
Interdepartmental Max Planck Fellow Group Functional Biogeography, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;
Empirical Inference of the Earth System, Dr. Miguel D. Mahecha, Department Biogeochemical Integration, Dr. M. Reichstein, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Günther,  Angela
Interdepartmental Max Planck Fellow Group Functional Biogeography, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Mahecha,  Miguel D.
Empirical Inference of the Earth System, Dr. Miguel D. Mahecha, Department Biogeochemical Integration, Dr. M. Reichstein, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;

Fulltext (public)

BGC2369P.docx
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Supplementary Material (public)
Citation

Díaz, S., Kattge, J., Cornelissen, J. H. C., Wright, I. J., Lavorel, S., Dray, S., et al. (2016). The global spectrum of plant form and function. Nature, 529, 167-171. doi:10.1038/nature16489.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0029-3F4C-9
Abstract
Earth is home to a remarkable diversity of plant forms and life histories, yet comparatively few essential trait combinations have proved evolutionarily viable in today’s terrestrial biosphere. By analysing worldwide variation in six major traits critical to growth, survival and reproduction within the largest sample of vascular plant species ever compiled, we found that occupancy of six-dimensional trait space is strongly concentrated, indicating coordination and trade-offs. Threequarters of trait variation is captured in a two-dimensional global spectrum of plant form and function. One major dimension within this plane reflects the size of whole plants and their parts; the other represents the leaf economics spectrum, which balances leaf construction costs against growth potential. The global plant trait spectrum provides a backdrop for elucidating constraints on evolution, for functionally qualifying species and ecosystems, and for improving models that predict future vegetation based on continuous variation in plant form and function.