Functional distinctiveness of major plant lineages

William K. Cornwell, Mark Westoby, Daniel S. Falster, Richard G. Fitzjohn, Brian C. O'Meara, Matthew W. Pennell, Daniel J. McGlinn, Jonathan M. Eastman, Angela T. Moles, Peter B. Reich, David C. Tank, Ian J. Wright, Lonnie Aarssen, Jeremy M. Beaulieu, Robert M. Kooyman, Michelle R. Leishman, Eliot T. Miller, Ülo Niinemets, Jacek Oleksyn, Alejandro OrdonezDana L. Royer, Stephen A. Smith, Peter F. Stevens, Laura Warman, Peter Wilf, Amy E. Zanne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

63 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Plant traits vary widely across species and underpin differences in ecological strategy. Despite centuries of interest, the contributions of different evolutionary lineages to modern-day functional diversity remain poorly quantified. Expanding data bases of plant traits plus rapidly improving phylogenies enable for the first time a data-driven global picture of plant functional diversity across the major clades of higher plants. We mapped five key traits relevant to metabolism, resource competition and reproductive strategy onto a phylogeny across 48324 vascular plant species world-wide, along with climate and biogeographic data. Using a novel metric, we test whether major plant lineages are functionally distinctive. We then highlight the trait-lineage combinations that are most functionally distinctive within the present-day spread of ecological strategies. For some trait-clade combinations, knowing the clade of a species conveys little information to neo- and palaeo-ecologists. In other trait-clade combinations, the clade identity can be highly revealing, especially informative clade-trait combinations include Proteaceae, which is highly distinctive, representing the global slow extreme of the leaf economic spectrum. Magnoliidae and Rosidae contribute large leaf sizes and seed masses and have distinctively warm, wet climatic distributions. Synthesis. This analysis provides a shortlist of the most distinctive trait-lineage combinations along with their geographic and climatic context: a global view of extant functional diversity across the tips of the vascular plant phylogeny. This analysis provides a shortlist of the most distinctive trait-lineage combinations along with their geographic and climatic context: a global view of extant functional diversity across the tips of the vascular plant phylogeny.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)345-356
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Ecology
Volume102
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2014

Fingerprint

functional diversity
phylogeny
vascular plant
vascular plants
Proteaceae
ecologists
reproductive strategy
leaves
metabolism
climate
seed
economics
synthesis
resource
seeds
testing
analysis

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Plant Science

Cite this

Cornwell, W. K., Westoby, M., Falster, D. S., Fitzjohn, R. G., O'Meara, B. C., Pennell, M. W., ... Zanne, A. E. (2014). Functional distinctiveness of major plant lineages. Journal of Ecology, 102(2), 345-356. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2745.12208
Cornwell, William K. ; Westoby, Mark ; Falster, Daniel S. ; Fitzjohn, Richard G. ; O'Meara, Brian C. ; Pennell, Matthew W. ; McGlinn, Daniel J. ; Eastman, Jonathan M. ; Moles, Angela T. ; Reich, Peter B. ; Tank, David C. ; Wright, Ian J. ; Aarssen, Lonnie ; Beaulieu, Jeremy M. ; Kooyman, Robert M. ; Leishman, Michelle R. ; Miller, Eliot T. ; Niinemets, Ülo ; Oleksyn, Jacek ; Ordonez, Alejandro ; Royer, Dana L. ; Smith, Stephen A. ; Stevens, Peter F. ; Warman, Laura ; Wilf, Peter ; Zanne, Amy E. / Functional distinctiveness of major plant lineages. In: Journal of Ecology. 2014 ; Vol. 102, No. 2. pp. 345-356.
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Cornwell, WK, Westoby, M, Falster, DS, Fitzjohn, RG, O'Meara, BC, Pennell, MW, McGlinn, DJ, Eastman, JM, Moles, AT, Reich, PB, Tank, DC, Wright, IJ, Aarssen, L, Beaulieu, JM, Kooyman, RM, Leishman, MR, Miller, ET, Niinemets, Ü, Oleksyn, J, Ordonez, A, Royer, DL, Smith, SA, Stevens, PF, Warman, L, Wilf, P & Zanne, AE 2014, 'Functional distinctiveness of major plant lineages', Journal of Ecology, vol. 102, no. 2, pp. 345-356. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2745.12208

Functional distinctiveness of major plant lineages. / Cornwell, William K.; Westoby, Mark; Falster, Daniel S.; Fitzjohn, Richard G.; O'Meara, Brian C.; Pennell, Matthew W.; McGlinn, Daniel J.; Eastman, Jonathan M.; Moles, Angela T.; Reich, Peter B.; Tank, David C.; Wright, Ian J.; Aarssen, Lonnie; Beaulieu, Jeremy M.; Kooyman, Robert M.; Leishman, Michelle R.; Miller, Eliot T.; Niinemets, Ülo; Oleksyn, Jacek; Ordonez, Alejandro; Royer, Dana L.; Smith, Stephen A.; Stevens, Peter F.; Warman, Laura; Wilf, Peter; Zanne, Amy E.

In: Journal of Ecology, Vol. 102, No. 2, 01.03.2014, p. 345-356.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Cornwell, William K.

AU - Westoby, Mark

AU - Falster, Daniel S.

AU - Fitzjohn, Richard G.

AU - O'Meara, Brian C.

AU - Pennell, Matthew W.

AU - McGlinn, Daniel J.

AU - Eastman, Jonathan M.

AU - Moles, Angela T.

AU - Reich, Peter B.

AU - Tank, David C.

AU - Wright, Ian J.

AU - Aarssen, Lonnie

AU - Beaulieu, Jeremy M.

AU - Kooyman, Robert M.

AU - Leishman, Michelle R.

AU - Miller, Eliot T.

AU - Niinemets, Ülo

AU - Oleksyn, Jacek

AU - Ordonez, Alejandro

AU - Royer, Dana L.

AU - Smith, Stephen A.

AU - Stevens, Peter F.

AU - Warman, Laura

AU - Wilf, Peter

AU - Zanne, Amy E.

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Y1 - 2014/3/1

N2 - Plant traits vary widely across species and underpin differences in ecological strategy. Despite centuries of interest, the contributions of different evolutionary lineages to modern-day functional diversity remain poorly quantified. Expanding data bases of plant traits plus rapidly improving phylogenies enable for the first time a data-driven global picture of plant functional diversity across the major clades of higher plants. We mapped five key traits relevant to metabolism, resource competition and reproductive strategy onto a phylogeny across 48324 vascular plant species world-wide, along with climate and biogeographic data. Using a novel metric, we test whether major plant lineages are functionally distinctive. We then highlight the trait-lineage combinations that are most functionally distinctive within the present-day spread of ecological strategies. For some trait-clade combinations, knowing the clade of a species conveys little information to neo- and palaeo-ecologists. In other trait-clade combinations, the clade identity can be highly revealing, especially informative clade-trait combinations include Proteaceae, which is highly distinctive, representing the global slow extreme of the leaf economic spectrum. Magnoliidae and Rosidae contribute large leaf sizes and seed masses and have distinctively warm, wet climatic distributions. Synthesis. This analysis provides a shortlist of the most distinctive trait-lineage combinations along with their geographic and climatic context: a global view of extant functional diversity across the tips of the vascular plant phylogeny. This analysis provides a shortlist of the most distinctive trait-lineage combinations along with their geographic and climatic context: a global view of extant functional diversity across the tips of the vascular plant phylogeny.

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Cornwell WK, Westoby M, Falster DS, Fitzjohn RG, O'Meara BC, Pennell MW et al. Functional distinctiveness of major plant lineages. Journal of Ecology. 2014 Mar 1;102(2):345-356. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2745.12208