A team including our student Paolo Biella wrote a paper on plant functional traits, which has been recently accepted for publication. Congratulations!
Here is the title and the abstract:
Volf M., Redmond C., Albert Á.J., Le Bagousse‐Pinguet Y., Biella P., Götzenberger Z., Hrázský Z., Janeček Š., Klimešová J., Lepš J., Šebelíková L., Vlasatá T., de Bello F. (in press.) Effects of long- and short-term management on the functional structure of meadows through species turnover and intraspecific trait variability. Oecologia.
The functional structures of communities respond to environmental changes by both species replacement (turnover) and within species variation (intraspecific trait variability, ITV). Evidence is lacking on the relative importance of these two components, particularly in response to both short- and long-term environmental disturbance. We hypothesized that such short- and long-term perturbations would induce changes in community functional structure primarily via ITV and turnover, respectively. To test this we applied an experimental design across long-term mown and abandoned meadows, with each plot containing a further level of short-term management treatments: mowing, grazing and abandonment. Within each plot, species composition and trait values (height, shoot biomass, and SLA) were recorded on up to five individuals per species. Positive covariations between the contribution of species turnover and ITV occurred for height and shoot biomass in response to both short and long-term management, indicating that species turnover and intraspecific adjustments selected for similar trait values. Positive covariations also occurred for SLA, but only in response to long-term management. The contributions of turnover and ITV changed depending on both the trait, and management trajectory. As expected, communities responded to short-term disturbances mostly through changes in intraspecific trait variability, particularly for height and biomass. Interestingly, for SLA they responded to long-term disturbances by both species turnover and intraspecific adjustments. These findings highlight the importance of both ITV and species turnover in adjusting grassland functional trait response to environmental perturbation, and show that the response is trait specific and affected by disturbance regime history.