Traits for understanding plant community assembly: a new theoretical framework and testing with field data

(OTKA K 83595, 2011 - 2016, closed project)
Responsible person at MTA ÖK: 

The aim of the project is to study of community assembly within a trait-based theoretical framework. Two theories are considered: habitat filtering and limiting similarity. Habitat filtering means that the species traits are filtered by habitat conditions (e.g. soil properties) and disturbance regime. Not only the occurrence of filtering will be tested, but also the range of trait values before and after filtering will be measured. According to the limiting similarity principle, co-existing species have to differ in traits related to regulating factors.

The parallel study of the effect of these two principles to community assembly is rare till now. It will need extensive survey of traits of species occurring in the studied communities and development of new statistical procedures.

The research will be done in two sites (one forest and one grassland site), where the main environmental gradients can be measured easily.



L Götzenberger, Z Botta‐Dukát, J Lepš, M Pärtel, M Zobel, F de Bello (2016): Which randomizations detect convergence and divergence in trait‐based community assembly? A test of commonly used null models Journal of Vegetation Science 27 (6), 1275-1287
Lhotsky B, Kovács B, Ónodi G, Csecserits A, Rédei T, Lengyel A, Kertész M, Botta-Dukát Z (2016): Changes in assembly rules along a stress gradient from open dry grasslands to wetlands Journal of Ecology 104(2): 507-517.