Climate is the main driver of clonal and bud bank traits in Italian forest understories

Stefano Chelli, Gianluigi Ottaviani, Enrico Simonetti, Camilla Wellstein, Roberto Canullo, Stefano Carnicelli, Anna Andreetta, Nicola Puletti, S. Bartha, Marco Cervellini, Giandiego Campetella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The study of plant trait-environment links is rarely focused on traits that inform on space occupancy and resprouting (both affecting plant persistence), especially in forest understories. Traits that can effectively capture such key functions are associated with clonality and bud banks. We hypothesized that: 1) climate is the main driver of clonal and bud bank traits, 2) traits related to space occupancy (e.g., greater lateral spread) are more important in more mesic, richer soils forests, and 3) traits related to resprouting ability (e.g., larger bud bank) are more important in more intensively and recently managed forests. We addressed these hypotheses by analysing a unique dataset that is statistically representative of Italian forests heterogeneity and includes three biogeographic regions (Alpine, Continental, Mediterranean). We recorded data for sixteen climatic, soil and management variables. We calculated community weighted mean (CWM) values of seven clonal and bud bank traits for the forest understory vegetation. We used i) redundancy analysis to assess trait-environment relations, and ii) variance partitioning analyses to identifying the relative role of different groups of abiotic variables on CWM variation of all traits combined together, as well as clonal and bud bank traits taken separately. Climate alone had a pervasive effect in determining patterns of clonal and bud bank traits in Italian forest understories, mainly related to the effects of temperature extremes and seasonality. Unexpectedly, soil and management factors alone showed marginal effects on clonal and bud bank traits. However, soil features influenced trait patterns when joined with climate. Our results confirmed that, at the biogeographic scale, climate played a lion-share role in determining persistence-related traits of forest-floor plants. At the local-scale, other interplaying factors (e.g., management, soil variables) may come into play in shaping patterns of the studied plant traits. This study stressed the importance of examining functional trait patterns along complex environmental gradients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number125478
JournalPerspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics
Volume40
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2019

Fingerprint

bud
understory
buds
climate
resprouting
persistence
soil
Panthera leo
soil management
environmental gradient
forest floor
forest litter
forest soils
forest soil
seasonality
partitioning
vegetation
effect
temperature

Keywords

  • Clonality
  • Community weighted mean (CWM)
  • Plant-environment linkages
  • Resprouting
  • Soil properties
  • Trait-based ecology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Plant Science

Cite this

Chelli, S., Ottaviani, G., Simonetti, E., Wellstein, C., Canullo, R., Carnicelli, S., ... Campetella, G. (2019). Climate is the main driver of clonal and bud bank traits in Italian forest understories. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics, 40, [125478]. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ppees.2019.125478

Climate is the main driver of clonal and bud bank traits in Italian forest understories. / Chelli, Stefano; Ottaviani, Gianluigi; Simonetti, Enrico; Wellstein, Camilla; Canullo, Roberto; Carnicelli, Stefano; Andreetta, Anna; Puletti, Nicola; Bartha, S.; Cervellini, Marco; Campetella, Giandiego.

In: Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics, Vol. 40, 125478, 01.10.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Chelli, S, Ottaviani, G, Simonetti, E, Wellstein, C, Canullo, R, Carnicelli, S, Andreetta, A, Puletti, N, Bartha, S, Cervellini, M & Campetella, G 2019, 'Climate is the main driver of clonal and bud bank traits in Italian forest understories', Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics, vol. 40, 125478. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ppees.2019.125478
Chelli, Stefano ; Ottaviani, Gianluigi ; Simonetti, Enrico ; Wellstein, Camilla ; Canullo, Roberto ; Carnicelli, Stefano ; Andreetta, Anna ; Puletti, Nicola ; Bartha, S. ; Cervellini, Marco ; Campetella, Giandiego. / Climate is the main driver of clonal and bud bank traits in Italian forest understories. In: Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics. 2019 ; Vol. 40.
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