Using phylogeny and functional traits for assessing community assembly along environmental gradients: A deterministic process driven by elevation

Ecology and Evolution
Jinshi XuMing Yue


Community assembly processes is the primary focus of community ecology. Using phylogenetic-based and functional trait-based methods jointly to explore these processes along environmental gradients are useful ways to explain the change of assembly mechanisms under changing world. Our study combined these methods to test assembly processes in wide range gradients of elevation and other habitat environmental factors. We collected our data at 40 plots in Taibai Mountain, China, with more than 2,300 m altitude difference in study area and then measured traits and environmental factors. Variance partitioning was used to distinguish the main environment factors leading to phylogeny and traits change among 40 plots. Principal component analysis (PCA) was applied to colligate other environment factors. Community assembly patterns along environmental gradients based on phylogenetic and functional methods were studied for exploring assembly mechanisms. Phylogenetic signal was calculated for each community along environmental gradients in order to detect the variation of trait performance on phylogeny. Elevation showed a better explanatory power than other environment factors for phylogenetic and most traits' variance. Phylogenetic and sev...Continue Reading


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Methods Mentioned

environmental stress

Related Concepts

Plant Leaves
White Matter
Molecular Assembly/Self Assembly

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