Tuesday, August 8, 2017: 1:30 PM-5:00 PM
Portland Blrm 253, Oregon Convention Center
Roberto Salguero-Gomez, University of Oxford
Cyrille Violle, CNRS
Benjamin W. Blonder, University of Oxford
Few aspects of biodiversity overshadow the variation of plant functional traits and life history strategies. For instance, plant size, seed mass or longevity vary up to 10 orders of magnitude among plants. Functional ecology and population ecology, two rather prolific disciplines, have developed independent approaches to quantify and examine the mechanisms behind the diversification of the vast repertoire of traits and life history strategies among plants. However, both disciplines are yet to established formal linkages that would allow for a more comprehensive, predictive framework of the relationships between functional traits and life history traits. In principle, traits and strategies should be intimately related; e.g, dense branches preclude fast growth, but also render the plant less likely to undergo embolisms, thus providing a trade-off between carbon content and longevity. Yet, recently two independent lines of research have evidenced that plant life history strategies are more labile than plant functional traits, suggesting a certain degree of disconnection between functionality and strategies. This symposium brings together leading early career and senior researchers in functional ecology, phylogenetics, life history theory, demography, comparative biology and microbial biology to provide a mechanistic understanding to the constraints and diversifying forces of the plant kingdom using functional traits and life history traits, as well as to provide a unified framework to predict their relationships using global and regional datasets.