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Article

Intraspecific Trait Variation Dilutes Deterministic Processes in Community Assembly of Arid Shrubs across Multiple Scales

by 1,2,†, 1,3,†, 1, 1,2, 1, 1, 1,2, 1,2 and 2,4,*
1
Key Laboratory of Resource Biology and Biotechnology in Western China, Ministry of Education, Northwest University, Xi’an 710069, China
2
School of Life Sciences, Northwest University, Xi’an 710069, China
3
Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi’an 710061, China
4
Xi’an Botanical Garden of Shaanxi Province, Institute of Botany of Shaanxi Province, Xi’an 710061, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J.X. and H.D. contributed equally to this work and should be considered co-first authors.
Diversity 2020, 12(12), 447; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12120447
Received: 17 August 2020 / Revised: 9 November 2020 / Accepted: 23 November 2020 / Published: 26 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vascular Plant Diversity at Different Scales)
Trait-based approaches present a promising avenue for improving our understanding of species coexistence and community assembly, while intraspecific trait variation (ITV) across different spatial scales is important in trait-based community assembly mechanisms, especially in extreme environments. In this study, we focused on the functional diversity and community assembly patterns of a desert community across different spatial scales and investigated whether ITV plays a significant role in community assembly processes in arid habitats. A 50 m × 50 m plot with different small quadrats was established in a typical desert community at the transition zone between the Tengger Desert and Loess Plateau in China. A total of 14 traits were selected to assess the trait-based functional diversity and assembly processes in the community. We found that functional diversity showed different patterns when considering ITV and related to different types of traits (chemical traits or morphological traits) and some soil factors (pH and nitrate nitrogen). Plant communities in this study showed stochastic distribution patterns and similar functional diversity patterns based on functional trait approaches, regardless of spatial scales. Also, the effect of ITV on community assembly did not show more effect with increasing scales. These results indicated that ITV diluted deterministic processes in community assembly across scales in arid habitats. View Full-Text
Keywords: functional diversity; species diversity; functional structure; extreme arid environment; temperate desert functional diversity; species diversity; functional structure; extreme arid environment; temperate desert
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MDPI and ACS Style

Xu, J.; Dang, H.; Tian, T.; Chai, Y.; Quan, J.; Lei, M.; Liu, X.; Guo, Y.; Yue, M. Intraspecific Trait Variation Dilutes Deterministic Processes in Community Assembly of Arid Shrubs across Multiple Scales. Diversity 2020, 12, 447. https://doi.org/10.3390/d12120447

AMA Style

Xu J, Dang H, Tian T, Chai Y, Quan J, Lei M, Liu X, Guo Y, Yue M. Intraspecific Trait Variation Dilutes Deterministic Processes in Community Assembly of Arid Shrubs across Multiple Scales. Diversity. 2020; 12(12):447. https://doi.org/10.3390/d12120447

Chicago/Turabian Style

Xu, Jinshi, Han Dang, Tingting Tian, Yongfu Chai, Jiaxin Quan, Maolin Lei, Xiao Liu, Yaoxin Guo, and Ming Yue. 2020. "Intraspecific Trait Variation Dilutes Deterministic Processes in Community Assembly of Arid Shrubs across Multiple Scales" Diversity 12, no. 12: 447. https://doi.org/10.3390/d12120447

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