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Trends Ecol Evol. 2016 May;31(5):382-394. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2016.02.003.

Traits Without Borders: Integrating Functional Diversity Across Scales.

Author information

1
Department of Botany, Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia, Branišovská 31, České Budějovice, Czech Republic. Electronic address: perezcarmonacarlos@gmail.com.
2
Department of Botany, Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia, Branišovská 31, České Budějovice, Czech Republic; Institute of Botany, Czech Academy of Sciences, Třeboň, Czech Republic.
3
Landcare Research, Private Bag 3127, Hamilton, New Zealand.
4
Department of Botany, Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia, Branišovská 31, České Budějovice, Czech Republic; Institute of Entomology, Czech Academy of Sciences, Branišovská 31, České Budějovice, Czech Republic.

Abstract

Owing to the conceptual complexity of functional diversity (FD), a multitude of different methods are available for measuring it, with most being operational at only a small range of spatial scales. This causes uncertainty in ecological interpretations and limits the potential to generalize findings across studies or compare patterns across scales. We solve this problem by providing a unified framework expanding on and integrating existing approaches. The framework, based on trait probability density (TPD), is the first to fully implement the Hutchinsonian concept of the niche as a probabilistic hypervolume in estimating FD. This novel approach could revolutionize FD-based research by allowing quantification of the various FD components from organismal to macroecological scales, and allowing seamless transitions between scales.

PMID:
26924737
DOI:
10.1016/j.tree.2016.02.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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