Impact of abundance weighting on the response of seed traits to climate and land use
Article first published online: 6 DEC 2007
© 2007 The Authors
Journal of Ecology
Volume 96, Issue 2, pages 355–366, March 2008
How to Cite
Pakeman, R. J., Garnier, E., Lavorel, S., Ansquer, P., Castro, H., Cruz, P., Doležal, J., Eriksson, O., Freitas, H., Golodets, C., Kigel, J., Kleyer, M., Lepš, J., Meier, T., Papadimitriou, M., Papanastasis, V. P., Quested, H., Quétier, F., Rusch, G., Sternberg, M., Theau, J.-P., Thébault, A. and Vile, D. (2008), Impact of abundance weighting on the response of seed traits to climate and land use. Journal of Ecology, 96: 355–366. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2745.2007.01336.x
- Issue published online: 6 DEC 2007
- Article first published online: 6 DEC 2007
- Received 14 February 2007; accepted 29 October 2007 Handling Editor: Richard Bardgett
- agricultural abandonment;
- plant functional traits;
- seed dispersal agent;
- seed mass;
- species–environment relationships;
- weighted abundance
- 1Many studies have identified relationships between plant reproductive behaviour and environmental conditions. However, they have all been based on cross-species analysis and take no account of the relative abundance of species with vegetation.
- 2Using two reproductive traits – seed mass and dispersal vector – as examples, a range of previously identified relationships were tested using both unweighted and weighted-by-abundance data collected from land-use transitions at 12 sites across Europe.
- 3Seed mass was correlated positively with most measures of temperature (stronger relationships for unweighted data) and declined against measures of disturbance (stronger relationships with weighted data). It was not related consistently to measures of water availability.
- 4There was some evidence that endozoochory was associated with damper environments, hoarding with drier ones and exozoochory with more fertile habitats.
- 5Weighting reduced the slope of relationships between seed mass and environmental variables, possibly indicating that dominance within vegetation is determined by land use after the operation of a climatic filter. Fewer significant relationships were detected for weighted dispersal mechanisms compared to unweighted ones, indicating less difference of the dominants from other species with regard to this trait.
- 6Synthesis. This analysis shows that weighting by abundance in the vegetation (compared to unweighted analysis) has a significant impact on the relationships between key species traits and a range of environmental parameters related to climate and land use, and that this impact was not consistent in its effects.