Leaf traits of subtropical and temperate constituents of phylogenetic lineages within North Central Florida woody communities.
Cavender-Bares, Jeannine*,1, 1 University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN
ABSTRACT- North Central Florida is a region of high floristic diversity where subtropical and temperate flora intermingle including southern and northern members of the same genus. One possibility for the interspersion of northern and southern species of different woody genera would be a random distribution within and across communities that is blind to geographic distribution or phylogenetic origin of constituents. However, northern tree species are confined largely to fertile hammock communities. At the same time, low fertility sandhills, flatwoods and scrub communities are comprised largely of southern tree species, particularly those with habitats that are more restricted than expected. Species within the same lineage tend to show differentiation across habitats, giving rise to overdispersion of clades across communities such that southern members of a clade occur in different communities and soil environments than northern members. Thus, community assembly does not appear to be random with respect to either phylogenetic affiliation or geographic range of constituents. Within communities in 0.1 ha plots, species within the oak genus show greater differences in leaf lifespan then expected, a result which arises primarily from the co-occurrence of evergreen and deciduous species within hammock forests. Within this clade, species means for leaf lifespan and other leaf-level traits are not correlated with their distribution across a soil fertility gradient but rather show a strong relationship to the northern range limit of species climatic distributions. For all tree species occurring in local communities, however, leaf longevity and other leaf-level traits are correlated with soil fertility.
Key words: community, geographic range, phylogeny, leaf traits
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