On the challenges of using field spectroscopy to measure the impact of soil type on leaf traits

Working with 24 chemical and physical leaf traits of six European tree species growing on strongly contrasting soil types (i.e. deep alluvium versus nearby shallow chalk), we asked whether variability in leaf traits is greater between tree species or soil type,
and whether field spectroscopy is effective at predicting intraspecific variation in leaf traits as well as interspecific differences.

Nunes, M.H; Davey, M.P.; Coomes, D.A.
2017
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Rate of tree carbon accumulation increases continuously with tree size

A global analysis of 403 tropical and temperate tree species, showing that for most species mass growth rate increases continuously with tree size. Thus, large, old trees do not act simply as senescent carbon reservoirs but actively fix large amounts of carbon. At the extreme the annual fixing of carbon by a single large tree can equal the entire carbon content of a smaller tree.

Stephenson, N.L. et al.
2014
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Quantifying variation in forest disturbance, and its effects on aboveground biomass dynamics, across the eastern United States

We analyzed forest inventory data from the eastern United States to estimate plot-level variation in mortality (relative to a long-term background rate for individual trees) for nine distinct forest regions. Disturbances that produced at least a fourfold increase in tree mortality over an approximately 5 year interval were observed in 1–5% of plots in each forest region.

VANDERWEL, M.C.; COOMES, D.A.; PURVES, D.W.
2013
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Remotely sensed indicators of forest conservation status: Case study from a Natura 2000 site in southern Portugal

We test the complementarity and joint effectiveness of airborne multispectral and laser scanning (lidar) in providing robust indicators of conservation status.Principal forest types and other land covers are mapped to an accuracy of up to 70% (11 land cover classes) and 81% (5 classes) by fusing the two remote sensing datasets, results that are superior to using either one alone.

Simonson, W.D.; Allen, H.D.; Coomes, D.A.
2013
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Testing the metabolic theory of ecology

An argument that critical evaluation of MTE also requires strong tests of both its theoretical foundations and simplifying assumptions. To this end, we synthesise available information and find that MTE’s original derivations require additional assumptions to obtain the full scope of attendant predictions.

Price, C.A. et al.
2012
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Competitive interactions between forest trees are driven by species’ trait hierarchy, not phylogenetic or functional similarity: implications for forest community assembly

Using growth data, we estimated 275 interaction coefficients between tree species in the French mountains. We show that interaction strengths are mainly driven by trait hierarchy and not by functional or phylogenetic similarity.

Kunstler, G.; Lavergne, S.; Courbaud, B.; Thuiller, W.; Vieilledent, G.; Zimmermann, N.E.; Kattge, J.; Coomes D.A.
2012
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Optical and SAR sensor synergies for forest and land cover mapping in a tropical site in West Africa

Classification of a study area in West Africa we integrated the optical sensors Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) and the Advanced Visible and Near Infrared Radio meter type 2 (AVNIR-2) with the Phased Arrayed L-band SAR (PALSAR) sensor, the latter two on-board the Advanced Land Observation Satellite (ALOS), using traditional Maximum Likelihood (MLC) and Neural Networks (NN) classifiers.

Laurin, G.V. et al.
2012
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Size-Specific Tree Mortality Varies with Neighbourhood Crowding and Disturbance in a Montane Nothofagus Forest

Using permanent plot data from Nothofagus forest, New Zealand, where the fates of trees were followed, to examine patterns of size-specific mortality over three consecutive periods spanning 30 years, each characterised by different disturbance, and the strength and direction of neighbourhood crowding effects on size-specific mortality rates.

Hurst, J.M.; Allen, R.B.; Coomes, D.A.; Duncan, R.P.
2011
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TRY – a global database of plant traits

Presentation of the global database initiative named TRY, which has united a wide range of the plant trait research community worldwide and gained an unprecedented buy-in of trait data: so far 93 trait databases have been contributed.

KATTGE, J. et al.
2011
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Influence of foliar traits on forage selection by introduced red deer in New Zealand

Understanding diet selection is to relate diet choices to the foliar and structural traits of forage species. Using data on diet selection by red deer  in Fiordland National Park, New Zealand, we determined the extent to which interspecific differences in the palatability of 46 plant species could be explained by 11 chemical and structural characteristics of plant foliage.

Bee, J.N.; Tanentzap, A.J.; Lee, W.G.; Lavers, R.B.; Mark, A.F.; Mills, J.A.; Coomes, D.A.
2011
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Species- and community-level patterns in fine root traits along a 120 000-year soil chronosequence in temperate rain forest

Measurement of species- and community-level root and leaf trait responses for 50 temperate rainforest species from 28 families of ferns, woody and herbaceous angiosperms and conifers, along a soil chronosequence in New Zealand that exhibits a strong gradient in soil nutrient availability.

Holdaway, R.J.; Richardson, S.J.; Dickie, I.A.; Peltzer D.A.; Coomes, D.A.
2011
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Do leaves of plants on phosphorus-impoverished soils contain high concentrations of phenolic defence compounds?

Comparing the foliar concentrations of phenolic compounds in phenotypes of 21 species growing on P-rich alluvial terraces and P-depleted marine terraces in southern New Zealand, and 87 species growing under similar climates on comparatively P-rich soils in New Zealand vs. P-depleted soils in Tasmania.

Wright, D.M.; Jordan, G.J.; Lee, W.G.; Duncan, R.P.; Forsyth, D.M.; Coomes, D.A.
2010
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Interspecific relationships among growth, mortality and xylem traits of woody species from New Zealand

Testing the hypotheses that there is a set of inter-related trade-offs linked to the different functions of wood, that these trade-offs have direct consequences for tree growth and survival and that these trade-offs underlie the observed correlations between wood density and demographic rates.

Russo, S.E.; Jenkins, K.L.; Wiser, S.K.; Uriarte, M.; Duncan, R.P.; Coomes, D.A.
2010
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Biodiversity Conservation: Challenges Beyond 2010

An argument that effective conservation of biodiversity is essential for human survival and the maintenance of ecosystem processes. Despite some conservation successes (especially at local scales) and increasing public and government interest in living sustainably, biodiversity continues to decline.

Rands, M.R.W et al
2010
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Spatio-temporal feeding selection of red deer in a mountainous landscape

Understanding the dietary consumption and selection of wild populations of generalist herbivores is hampered by the complex array of factors. Here, we determine the influence of habitat, season, and animal density, sex, and age on the diet consumption and selection of 426 red deer (Cervus elaphus scoticus) culled in Fiordland National Park, New Zealand.

BEE, J.N.; WRIGHT, D.M.; TANENTZAP, A.J.; LEE, W.G.; LAVERS, R.B.; MILLS, J.A.; MARK, A.F.; COOMES, D.A. 
2010
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