NCEAS Project 12070

Ushering in a new era of functional ecology: Dynamics in a changing environment

  • Elsa E. Cleland
  • Scott L. Collins
  • Katharine N. Suding

ActivityDatesFurther Information
Meeting14th—15th November 2007Participant List  
Meeting27th—31st March 2008Participant List  

This distributed graduate seminar will engage graduate students in asking fundamental questions about the linkages among environmental change, niche-based functional traits and threshold/divergence dynamics in community structure. Plant functional traits are increasingly being utilized in an effort to generalize species and ecosystem responses to environmental changes, as well as to address fundamental questions in evolutionary ecology. They also present a tool to discern niche or deterministic, convergence, and divergence, and stochastic dynamics in communities. The seminar will focus on emerging areas of research that are advancing functional ecology. Each institution will use datasets that detail community and functional structure from several environmental change manipulative experiments and related observational datasets along environmental gradients. The capstone NCEAS meeting will combine analyses and techniques from each institution to generate predictions regarding national-level responses of plant communities to environmental change such as invasive species and nitrogen enrichment.

TypeProducts of NCEAS Research
Journal Article Collins, Scott L.; Koerner, Sally E.; Plaut, Jennifer A.; Okie, Jordan G.; Brese, Daniel; Calabrese, Laura B.; Carvajal, Alejandra; Evansen, Ryan J.; Nonaka, Etsuko. 2012. Stability of tallgrass prairie during a 19-year increase in growing season precipitation. Functional Ecology. Vol: 26. Pages 1450-1459. (Online version)
Presentations Koerner, Christian. 2008. Plant functional traits and community responses in a changing environment. ESA Meeting, 2008.
Journal Article Sandel, Brody; Goldstein, Leah J.; Kraft, Nathan J.B.; Okie, Jordan G.; Shuldman, Michal I.; Ackerly, David D.; Cleland, Elsa E.; Suding, Katharine N. 2010. Contrasting trait responses in plant communities to experimental and geographic variation in precipitation. New Phytologist. Vol: 188. Pages 565-575. (Online version)
Journal Article Spasojevic, Marko; Aicher, Rebecca; Koch, Greg; Marquardt, Emily; Mirotchnick, Nicholas; Troxler, Tiffany; Collins, Scott L. 2010. Fire and grazing in a mesic tallgrass prairie: Impacts on plant species and functional traits. Ecology. Vol: 91. Pages 1651-1659. (Online version)