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Title: Contrasting adaptation and optimization of stomatal traits across communities at continental scale
Abstract Shifts in stomatal trait distributions across contrasting environments and their linkage with ecosystem productivity at large spatial scales have been unclear. Here, we measured the maximum stomatal conductance (g), stomatal area fraction (f), and stomatal space-use efficiency (e, the ratio of g to f) of 800 plant species ranging from tropical to cold-temperate forests, and determined their values for community-weighted mean, variance, skewness, and kurtosis. We found that the community-weighted means of g and f were higher in drier sites, and thus, that drought ‘avoidance’ by water availability-driven growth pulses was the dominant mode of adaptation for communities at sites with low water availability. Additionally, the variance of g and f was also higher at arid sites, indicating greater functional niche differentiation, whereas that for e was lower, indicating the convergence in efficiency. When all other stomatal trait distributions were held constant, increasing kurtosis or decreasing skewness of g would improve ecosystem productivity, whereas f showed the opposite patterns, suggesting that the distributions of inter-related traits can play contrasting roles in regulating ecosystem productivity. These findings demonstrate the climatic trends of stomatal trait distributions and their significance in the prediction of ecosystem productivity.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
1951244 2017949
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ;
Lawson, Tracy
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Journal of Experimental Botany
Page Range / eLocation ID:
6405 to 6416
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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