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Abstract Detail

Ecological Section

Rollinson, Emily [1], Gurevitch, Jessica [2].

Functional diversity and the assembly of riparian plant communities.

Plant functional traits vary among species in similar habitats and across environmental gradients. Many ecologists have advocated the use of trait information to approach questions about species coexistence. Patterns in the abundance of different traits within a community can suggest an underlying mechanism of community assembly (e.g., limiting similarity or environmental filtering). Plant traits can also shed light on patterns of introduced plant establishment in a community.
Riparian plant communities are often described as highly diverse compared to the surrounding landscape, and are also particularly susceptible to species invasions. I use plant trait information to explain patterns in the functional composition of riparian and upland plant communities in the Upper Hudson watershed (NY), and to detect underlying mechanisms of community assembly. Most riparian and upland plant communities surveyed show no evidence for an assembly mechanism other than random, although some communities appear to be structured via environmental filtering. Signals of environmental filtering were more common in upland plant communities than riparian. While functional composition does not differ significantly between riparian and upland plant communities, native and introduced species within riparian communities do differ significantly in functional traits.

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1 - Stony Brook University, Ecology & Evolution, 650 Life Sciences, Stony Brook, NY, 11794, United States
2 - Stony Brook University, Ecology & Evolution, 650 Life Sciences, Stony Brook, NY, 11794, USA

Community Assembly
plant functional trait
invasive species.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Session: 35
Location: Salon 6/The Shaw Conference Centre
Date: Tuesday, July 28th, 2015
Time: 8:45 AM
Number: 35004
Abstract ID:849
Candidate for Awards:Ecological Section Best Graduate Student Paper

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