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Ecosystem Traits Linking Functional Traits to Macroecology

He, Nianpeng, Liu, Congcong, Piao, Shilong, Sack, Lawren, Xu, Li, Luo, Yiqi, He, Jinsheng, Han, Xingguo, Zhou, Guangsheng, Zhou, Xuhui, Lin, Yi, Yu, Qiang, Liu, Shirong, Sun, Wei, Niu, Shuli, Li, Shenggong, Zhang, Jiahui, Yu, Guirui
Trends in ecology & evolution 2019 v.34 no.3 pp. 200-210
animals, ecosystems, microorganisms, models, plants (botany), prediction, remote sensing, surveys
As the range of studies on macroecology and functional traits expands, integration of traits into higher-level approaches offers new opportunities to improve clarification of larger-scale patterns and their mechanisms and predictions using models. Here, we propose a framework for quantifying ‘ecosystem traits’ and means to address the challenges of broadening the applicability of functional traits to macroecology. Ecosystem traits are traits or quantitative characteristics of organisms (plants, animals, and microbes) at the community level expressed as the intensity (or density) normalized per unit land area. Ecosystem traits can inter-relate and integrate data from field trait surveys, eddy-flux observation, remote sensing, and ecological models, and thereby provide new resolution of the responses and feedback at regional to global scale.