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					                                        Plant Trait List

Below is the list of plant traits we chose for cross-site synthesis. Shown in bold are the traits we
hope to get (if applicable) for as many species as possible from all sites. The first six are
continuous. The remaining traits are categorical (binary, ordered, unordered).

         TRAIT                                                     DESCRIPTION
                                        Continuous traits

Seed mass                    mg                      Oven dry mass of an average seed1,2
                                                     One sided leaf area of fresh leaf divided
Specific leaf area (SLA)     m2 kg-1
                                                     by its dry mass 1,2,3
Plant height                 m                       Height of highest leaf tissue1,2
Wood density of mature                               Dry weight of wood sample divided by
                             kg m-3
individuals                                          fresh volume of the same sample 4,5
Leaf nitrogen                                        Total amount of N per unit dry leaf
                             mg g-1
concentration                                        mass 2,3
Leaf size                    mm2                     One sided projected leaf area2
Leaf perimeter/area                                  Length of leaf perimeter divided by fresh
                             cm cm-2
ratio                                                leaf area6,7
                                        Categorical traits
Growth form               Divided into a series of binary traits (see below)
Woody                     binary                Yes/ No
Climbe r                  binary                Yes /No
Succulence                binary                Yes/ No
Reproduction              binary                Seed /Vegetative
Mat forming ability       binary                Yes/ No
                                                Raunkiear classification based on
                                                perennating tissue 2
Life form                 ordered               Epiphytes; Geophytes (buds
                                                belowground); buds at ground-level; 25
                                                cm; 2m; > 2m;
                                                Degree of spines, thorns or prickles2
Spinescence               ordered
                                                Yes/ Intermediate/ No
Photosynthetic pathway unordered                C3 , C4 or CAM 2
Leaf habit                binary                Evergreen / Deciduous
N fixation                binary                Yes/ No
Browsability/palatability ordered               Yes/ Intermediate / No
Native/ Non-native        binary                Yes/ No
Vascular/non-vascular     binary                Yes/No
                                                Wind/ water/ bat/ bird/ insect/ other
Pollination mode          unordered

Traits Handout                                                                   ASM 2006
Dispersal mode              unordered              Wind/ water/ insect/ animal
Seed bank                   binary                 Greater less than one year
Serotiny (seeds)            binary                 Yes/ No
                                                   Early/ Middle/ Late/ Non-growing season
Flowe ring time             unordered
                                                   / All
                                                   Capacity to resprout after desctruction of
Resprouting capacity
                            ordered                most of its aboveground biomass 2
after major disturbance
                                                   Yes/ Int,/ No
                             Other traits we chose not to measure
Flammability                compound, unitless     Ease of ignition of a species2
Leaf phosphorus
                            mg g-1                 Total amount of P per unit dry leaf mass2,3
                                                   Oven-dry mass divided by water-saturated
Leaf dry matter content     mg g-1
                                                   fresh mass2
                            % electrolyte
Leaf frost sensitivity                             Sensitivity to freezing2
                                                   Oven-dry mass of main stem divided by
Stem specific density       mg mm-3
                                                   fresh volume of same stem2
                                                   Oven-dry mass of terminal twig divided by
Twig dry matter content     mg g-1
                                                   fresh volume of same twig2
Bark thickness (&                                  Thickness of stem external to the
quality)                                           xylem/wood2
                                                   Ratio of root length to mass; belowground
Specific root length        m g-1
                                                   analogue of SLA2
                                                   How is the root biomass distributed
Root depth distribution     g m-3
                                                   vertically in the soil2
                                                   Estimate of depth above which 95% of the
95% rooting depth           m
                                                   root biomass is located2
                                                   Mechanisms to take up nutrients (e.g. N
Nutrient uptake strategy    categorical
                                                   fixer, mycorhizae, carnivorous)2
Form of N uptake
                                                   Variance of three dimensions (length, width,
Dispersule shape            unitless
                                                   Oven dry mass of entire reproductive
Dispersule size             mg
Cotyledon type              categorical            e.g. epigeal, hypogeal8

From the LTER Ecophylogenetics Workshop at the University of Minnesota, May 31-June 3,
William Bowman, Jeannine Cavender-Bares, Sarah Hobbie, Teresa Hollingsworth, Steven
Kembel, Brian Kloeppel, Clarence Lehman, Daniel Milchunas, Jennifer Powers, Peter Reich,
Jessica Savage, Charles Willis. This list was derived from an earlier list developed for the LTER
brainstorming workshop at ASM, Sept. 2006: Forging links between ecology and evolution
within the LTER framework: Connecting phylogenetic history, environmental gradients and
plant traits to understand community organization. J Cavender-Bares. RA Montgomery, C
Lehman, PB Reich, R Holt

Traits Handout                                                                 ASM 2006

1. Westoby, M. 1998. A leaf- height-seed (LHS) plant ecology strategy scheme. Plant and Soil
2a. Cornelissen, J. H. C., S. Lavorel, E. Garnier, S. Diaz, N. Buchmann, D. E. Gurvich, P. B.
        Reich, H. ter Steege, H. D. Morgan, M. G. A. van der Heijden, J. G. Pausas, and H.
        Poorter. 2003. A handbook of protocols for standardised and easy measurement of plant
        functional traits worldwide. Australian Journal of Botany 51:335-380.
2b. Diaz S, M Cabido, F Casanoves. 1999 Plant functional traits and environmental filters at a
        regional scale. Journal of Vegetation Science 9:113-122
2c. Weiher E, A. van der Werf , K Thompson, M Roderick, E Garnier, O Eriksson. 1999.
        Challenging Theophrastus: a common core list of plant traits for functional ecology.
        Journal of Vegetation Science 10:609-620
3. Wright, I. J., P. B. Reich, M. Westoby, D. D. Ackerly, Z. Baruch, F. Bongers, J. Cavender-
        Bares, T. Chapin, J. H. C. Cornelissen, M. Diemer, J. Flexas, E. Garnier, P. K. Groom, J.
        Gulias, K. Hikosaka, B. B. Lamont, T. Lee, W. Lee, C. Lusk, J. J. Midgley, M. L. Navas,
        U. Niinemets, J. Oleksyn, N. Osada, H. Poorter, P. Poot, L. Prior, V. I. Pyankov, C.
        Roumet, S. C. Thomas, M. G. Tjoelker, E. J. Veneklaas, and R. Villar. 2004. The
        worldwide leaf economics spectrum. Nature 428:821-827.
4. Meinzer, F. C. 2003. Functional convergence in plant responses to the environment. Oecologia
        134:1 - 11.
5. Cornwell, W. K., D. Schwilk, and D. Ackerly. 2006. A trait-based test for habitat filtering:
        hull volume. Ecology 87:1465-1471.
6. Sack, L., P. D. Cowan, N. Jaikumar, and N. M. Holbrook. 2003. The 'hydrology' of leaves: co-
        ordination of structure and function in temperate woody species. Plant Cell and
        Environment 26:1343-1356.
7. Cavender-Bares, J., A. Keen, and B. Miles. 2006. Phylogenetic structure of Floridian plant
        communities depends on taxonomic and spatial scale. Ecology 87:S109-S122
8. Kitajima, K., and M. Fenner. 2000. Ecology of seedling regeneration. Pages 331-360 in M.
        Fenner, editor. Seeds: the ecology of regeneration in plant communities. CAB
        International, Wallingford, UK.
9a. Cavender-Bares, J., K. Kitajima, and F. A. Bazzaz. 2004. Multiple trait associations in
        relation to habitat differentiation among 17 Florida oak species. Ecological Monographs
9b. Cavender-Bares, J., D. D. Ackerly, D. A. Baum, and F. A. Bazzaz. 2004. Phylogenetic
        overdispersion in Floridian oak communities. American Naturalist 163:823-843.

Traits Handout                                                                ASM 2006

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