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From Plant Traits to Plant Communities: A Statistical Mechanistic Approach to Biodiversity

Abstract : We developed a quantitative method, analogous to those used in statistical mechanics, to predict how biodiversity will vary across environments, which plant species from a species pool will be found in which relative abundances in a given environment, and which plant traits determine community assembly. This provides a scaling from plant traits to ecological communities while bypassing the complications of population dynamics. Our method treats community development as a sorting process involving species that are ecologically equivalent except with respect to particular functional traits, which leads to a constrained random assembly of species; the relative abundance of each species adheres to a general exponential distribution as a function of its traits. Using data for eight functional traits of 30 herbaceous species and community-aggregated values of these traits in 12 sites along a 42-year chronosequence of secondary succession, we predicted 94% of the variance in the relative abundances.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-02921538
Contributor : Denis Vile Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Tuesday, August 25, 2020 - 12:07:20 PM
Last modification on : Monday, May 9, 2022 - 11:58:08 AM

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Bill Shipley, Denis Vile, Eric Garnier. From Plant Traits to Plant Communities: A Statistical Mechanistic Approach to Biodiversity. Science, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 2006, 314 (5800), pp.812-814. ⟨10.1126/science.1131344⟩. ⟨hal-02921538⟩

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