Prairie species differ in the timing of rainfall necessary for flowering

Nathan P. Lemoine, John D. Dietrich, Melinda D. Smith The first European settlers of the midwestern United States were awestruck by the productivity of tallgrass prairies. The fertility of this region was apparent from the number and density of flowering stalks, which can reach over 1.5 m in height for many tallgrass species. Yet species…

Drought resistance traits in Bromeliaceae

Jamie Males & Howard Griffiths The bromeliads are one of the world’s most diverse plant families, with species occurring in an extremely broad range of habitats across the tropical and subtropical Americas. The colonisation of new habitat types by different bromeliad lineages is known to have involved transitions in growth form (functional type), including switches…

Intraspecific variability and reaction norms of forest understory plant species traits

Julia I. Burton, Steven S. Perakis, Sean C. McKenzie, Caitlin E. Lawrence and Klaus J. Puettmann Plant traits are recognized as being increasingly important for understanding plant community assembly processes and predicting responses to changes in climate and disturbance regimes. Most approaches ignore trait variation within species, assuming individual species can be represented by a…

Root traits are related to plant water-use among rangeland Mediterranean species

Florian Fort, Florence Volaire, Lydie Guilioni, Karim Barkaoui, Marie-Laure Navas, Catherine Roumet In the context of a global increase in the frequency and intensity of droughts under climate change, root traits need to be explored to better understand their influence on water-use strategies of plants and communities. Perennial Mediterranean herbaceous species are an interesting model…

REVIEW: Sampling roots to capture plant and soil functions

Grégoire T. Freschet, Catherine Roumet The long and complex evolution of plant roots, and their occurrence in multiple environmental conditions, have shaped a large diversity of forms and functions among plant species. With the growing recognition that roots constitute a critical component of ecosystem functioning, an increasingly large research community has begun to unravel the…

Log moisture and moss growth under thinned and unthinned forest canopies

Sean R. Haughian and Katherine A. Frego Water availability is important for mosses, because they do not have roots; they simply absorb liquid water (directly through their leaves) from rainfall, dew, and surface flow. Many different species of moss seem to prefer living on rotting logs, and scientists have often attributed this tendency to the…