Impact of abundance weighting on the response of seed traits to climate and land use

Authors

  • Robin J. Pakeman,

    Corresponding author
    1. Macaulay Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen, AB15 8QH, UK;
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  • Eric Garnier,

    1. CNRS, Centre d’Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive (UMR 5175), 1919 Route de Mende, 34293 Montpellier Cedex 5, France;
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  • Sandra Lavorel,

    1. Laboratoire d’Ecologie Alpine (CNRS UMR 5553) and Station Alpine Joseph Fourier (UMS-UJF-CNRS 2925), Université Joseph Fourier, BP 53, F-38042 Grenoble, Cedex 09, France;
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  • Pauline Ansquer,

    1. UMR 1248 ARCHE, Équipe ORPHEE, INRA, BP 52627, 31326 Castanet-Tolosan, France;
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  • Helena Castro,

    1. Centre for Functional Ecology, Department of Botany, University of Coimbra, 3000 Coimbra, Portugal;
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  • Pablo Cruz,

    1. UMR 1248 ARCHE, Équipe ORPHEE, INRA, BP 52627, 31326 Castanet-Tolosan, France;
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  • Jiri Doležal,

    1. Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of South Bohemia, Branišovská 31, CZ-37005 Ceské Budejovice, Czech Republic;
    2. Institute of Botany, Section of Plant Ecology, Czech Academy of Sciences, Dukelská 135, CZ-379 82 Trebon, Czech Republic;
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  • Ove Eriksson,

    1. Department of Botany, Stockholm University, Stockholm, 106 91, Sweden;
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  • Helena Freitas,

    1. Centre for Functional Ecology, Department of Botany, University of Coimbra, 3000 Coimbra, Portugal;
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  • Carly Golodets,

    1. Institute of Plant Sciences and Genetics in Agriculture, Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot 76100, Israel;
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  • Jaime Kigel,

    1. Institute of Plant Sciences and Genetics in Agriculture, Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot 76100, Israel;
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  • Michael Kleyer,

    1. Landscape Ecology Group, University of Oldenburg, 26111 Oldenburg, Germany;
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  • Jan Lepš,

    1. Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of South Bohemia, Branišovská 31, CZ-37005 Ceské Budejovice, Czech Republic;
    2. Institute of Entomology, Czech Academy of Sciences, Braniśovská 31, CZ-37005 Ceské Budejovice, Czech Republic;
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  • Tonia Meier,

    1. Landscape Ecology Group, University of Oldenburg, 26111 Oldenburg, Germany;
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  • Maria Papadimitriou,

    1. Laboratory of Rangeland Ecology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124, Thessaloniki, Greece;
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  • Vasilios P. Papanastasis,

    1. Laboratory of Rangeland Ecology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124, Thessaloniki, Greece;
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  • Helen Quested,

    1. Department of Botany, Stockholm University, Stockholm, 106 91, Sweden;
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  • Fabien Quétier,

    1. Laboratoire d’Ecologie Alpine (CNRS UMR 5553) and Station Alpine Joseph Fourier (UMS-UJF-CNRS 2925), Université Joseph Fourier, BP 53, F-38042 Grenoble, Cedex 09, France;
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  • Graciela Rusch,

    1. Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, Tungasletta 2, 7485 Trondheim, Norway;
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  • Marcelo Sternberg,

    1. Department of Plant Sciences, Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel;
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  • Jean-Pierre Theau,

    1. UMR 1248 ARCHE, Équipe ORPHEE, INRA, BP 52627, 31326 Castanet-Tolosan, France;
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  • Aurélie Thébault,

    1. Laboratoire d’Ecologie Alpine (CNRS UMR 5553) and Station Alpine Joseph Fourier (UMS-UJF-CNRS 2925), Université Joseph Fourier, BP 53, F-38042 Grenoble, Cedex 09, France;
    2. Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Laboratory of Ecological Systems, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland; and
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  • Denis Vile

    1. CNRS, Centre d’Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive (UMR 5175), 1919 Route de Mende, 34293 Montpellier Cedex 5, France;
    2. INRA, Laboratoire d’Ecophysiologie des Plantes sous Stress Environnementaux (UR 759), IBIP, Bât 7, 2 Place Pierre Viala, F-34060 Montpellier Cedex 2, France
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*Correspondence author. E-mail: r.pakeman@macaulay.ac.uk

Summary

  • 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.

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