Archives SEEM

Daniel Falster

Macquarie University, Australie

Le vendredi 30 juin 2015 - Grande salle de réunion du CEFE - 1e étage, aile C - 11h30

How do plant species differing in physiological traits coexist when competing for the same resources? Early research relied on niche-based explanations, but thus far, niche models have failed to capture patterns of diversity in tropical forests, prompting development of a neutral theory. Yet, the fitness equivalence assumed by neutral theory is controversial. In this talk I present a mechanistic frame-work for modelling trait-based ecology and community assembly. The physiological component of the model captures the effect of traits on growth rate and shade-tolerance, and explains why these effects vary with plant size. In community assembly, we find that niche and neutral outcomes both arise from the same key processes found in all vegetation. Importantly however, neutral outcomes emerge via niche differentiation: not for all species, but only in restricted regions of trait space. Key to generating this result was inclusion multiple trait-mediated tradeoffs, a critical feature of real for-ests missing from existing niche models
Selected publications:
Multi-trait eco-evolutionary dynamics explain niche diversity and evolved neutrality in forests Falster DS, Brännström Å, Westoby M, Dieckmann U (2015) bioRxiv. doi: 10.1101/014605
Functional distinctiveness of major plant lineages Cornwell WK, Westoby M, Falster DS, FitzJohn R + 22 more (2014) Journal of Ecology 102: 345-356. doi: 10.1111/1365-2745.12208,
Lifetime return on investment increases with leaf lifespan among 10 Australian woodland species Falster DS, Reich PB, Ellsworth DS, Wright IJ + 3 more (2012) New Phytologist 193: 409-419. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2011.03940.x

 

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