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Habitat filtering determines the functional niche occupancy of plant communities worldwide [Journal of Ecology]

Keywords : community assembly, habitat filtering, limiting similarity, niche occupancy, species richness, intraspecific trait variability, determinants of plant community diversity and structure

par Frédéric Magné - publié le

1.How the patterns of niche occupancy vary from species-poor to species-rich communities is a fundamental question in ecology that has a central bearing on the processes that drive patterns of biodiversity. As species richness increases, habitat filtering should constrain the expansion of total niche volume, while limiting similarity should restrict the degree of niche overlap between species. Here, by explicitly incorporating intraspecific trait variability, we investigate the relationship between functional niche occupancy and species richness at the global scale.
2.We assembled 21 datasets worldwide, spanning tropical to temperate biomes and consisting of 313 plant communities representing different growth forms. We quantified three key niche occupancy components (the total functional volume, the functional overlap between species and the average functional volume per species) for each community, related each component to species richness, and compared each component to the null expectations.(...)

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