Which is a better predictor of plant traits: temperature or precipitation?
Angela T. Moles, Sarah E. Perkins, Shawn W. Laffan, Habacuc Flores-Moreno, Monica Awasthy, Marianne L. Tindall, Lawren Sack, Andy Pitman, Jens Kattge, Lonnie W. Aarssen, Madhur Anand, Michael Bahn, Benjamin Blonder, Jeannine Cavender-Bares, J. Hans C. Cornelissen, Will K. Cornwell, Sandra Díaz, John B. Dickie, Grégoire T. Freschet, Joshua G. Griffiths, Alvaro G. Gutierrez, Frank A. Hemmings, Thomas Hickler, Timothy D. Hitchcock, Matthew Keighery, Michael Kleyer, Hiroko Kurokawa, Michelle R. Leishman, Kenwin Liu, Ülo Niinemets, Vladimir Onipchenko, Yusuke Onoda, Josep Penuelas, Valério D. Pillar, Peter B. Reich, Satomi Shiodera, Andrew Siefert, Enio E. Sosinski Jr, Nadejda A. Soudzilovskaia, Emily K. Swaine, Nathan G. Swenson, Peter M. van Bodegom, Laura Warman, Evan Weiher, Ian J. Wright, Hongxiang Zhang, Martin Zobel and Stephen P. Bonser
Article first published online: 15 MAY 2014 | DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12190
We assembled a database including 21 plant traits from 447 961 species-site combinations worldwide. We found that mean annual temperature was significantly more strongly correlated with plant traits than was mean annual precipitation. The relatively low R2 values for precipitation might reflect the weak link between mean annual precipitation and the availability of water to plants.