University of Oulu

Langley, J. Adam, Grman, Emily, Wilcox, Kevin R., Avolio, Meghan L., Komatsu, Kimberly J., Collins, Scott L., Koerner, Sally E., et al. 2022. “ Do Trade-Offs Govern Plant Species’ Responses to Different Global Change Treatments?.” Ecology 103( 6): e3626.

Do trade-offs govern plant species’ responses to different global change treatments?

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Author: Langley, J. Adam1; Grman, Emily2; Wilcox, Kevin R.3;
Organizations: 1Department of Biology, Center of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Stewardship, Villanova, Pennsylvania, USA
2Department of Biology, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Michigan, USA
3Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming, USA
4Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
5Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Edgewater, Maryland, USA
6Department of Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
7Department of Biology, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, Greensboro, North Carolina, USA
8Department of Biology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
9Department of Environmental Science and Technology, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, USA
10Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA
11Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, Stanford, Stanford, California, USA
12Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research UFZ, Leipzig, Germany
13German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research iDiv, Leipzig, Germany
14Ecology and Genetics Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
15UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Environment Centre Wales, Bangor, UK
16Biological Sciences, School of Natural Sciences, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
17Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Aas, Norway
18Department of Plant & Soil Sciences, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, USA
19Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia
20Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-09-22


Plants are subject to trade-offs among growth strategies such that adaptations for optimal growth in one condition can preclude optimal growth in another. Thus, we predicted that a plant species that responds positively to one global change treatment would be less likely than average to respond positively to another treatment, particularly for pairs of treatments that favor distinct traits. We examined plant species’ abundances in 39 global change experiments manipulating two or more of the following: CO₂, nitrogen, phosphorus, water, temperature, or disturbance. Overall, the directional response of a species to one treatment was 13% more likely than expected to oppose its response to a another single-factor treatment. This tendency was detectable across the global data set, but held little predictive power for individual treatment combinations or within individual experiments. Although trade-offs in the ability to respond to different global change treatments exert discernible global effects, other forces obscure their influence in local communities.

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Series: Ecology
ISSN: 0012-9658
ISSN-E: 1939-9170
ISSN-L: 0012-9658
Volume: 103
Issue: 6
Article number: e3626
DOI: 10.1002/ecy.3626
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1172 Environmental sciences
1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
Funding: This work was conducted as a part of a LTER Synthesis Group funded by NSF grants EF-0553768 to M. Avolio and K. Komatsu, and DEB 1545288 through the LTER Network Communications Office and the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, UCSB to K. Komatsu, M. Avolio, and K. Wilcox. JA Langley acknowledges support from the NSF LTREB Program (DEB-0950080, DEB-1457100, and DEB-1557009).
Copyright information: © 2021 The Ecological Society of America.