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Plant evolutionary history mainly explains the variance in biomass responses to climate warming at a global scale

journal contribution
posted on 05.09.2019, 00:00 authored by J Shao, T Yuan, Z Li, N Li, H Liu, Shahla Hosseini BaiShahla Hosseini Bai, J Xia, M Lu, X Zhou
Evolutionary history shapes the interspecific relatedness and intraspecific variation, which has a profound influence on plant functional traits and productivity. However, it is far from clear how the phylogenetic relatedness among species and intraspecific variation could contribute to the observed variance in plant biomass responses to climate warming. We compiled a dataset with 284 species from warming experiments to explore the relative importance of phylogenetic, intraspecific, experimental and ecological factors to warming effects on plant biomass, using phylogenetic eigenvector regression and variance decomposition. Our results showed that phylogenetic relatedness could account for about half the total variance in biomass responses to warming, which were correlated with leaf economic traits at the family but not species levels. The intraspecific variation contributed to approximately one‐third of the variance, while the experimental design and ecological characteristics only explained 7–17%. These results suggest that intrinsic factors (evolutionary history) play more important roles than extrinsic factors (experimental treatment and environment) in determining the responses of plant biomass to warming at the global scale. This highlights the urgent need for land surface models to include evolutionary aspects in predicting ecosystem functions under climate change.

Funding

Other

History

Volume

222

Issue

3

Start Page

1338

End Page

1351

Number of Pages

14

eISSN

1469-8137

ISSN

0028-646X

Publisher

Wiley

Language

en

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

Acceptance Date

08/01/2019

External Author Affiliations

University of the Sunshine Coast; Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, US; Shanghai Institute of Pollution Control and Ecological Security, East China Normal University, China

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

New Phytologist