Skip to main content
Dryad logo

Data from: Morphometric traits capture the climatically driven species turnover of 10 spruce taxa across China


Li, He; Wang, Guohong; Zhang, Yun; Zhang, WeiKang (2016), Data from: Morphometric traits capture the climatically driven species turnover of 10 spruce taxa across China, Dryad, Dataset,


This study explored the relative roles of climate and phylogenetic background in driving morphometric trait variation in 10 spruce taxa in China. The study further addressed the hypothesis that these variations are consistent with species turnover on climatic gradients. Nine morphometric traits of leaves, seed cones, and seeds for the 10 studied spruce taxa were measured at 504 sites. These data were analyzed in combination with species DNA sequences from NCBI GenBank. We detected the effects of phylogeny and climate through trait-variation-based K statistics and phylogenetic eigenvector regression (PVR) analyses. Multivariate analyses were performed to detect trait variation along climatic gradients with species replacement. The estimated K-values for the nine studied morphometric traits ranged from 0.19 to 0.68, and the studied environmental variables explained 39–83% of the total trait variation. Trait variation tended to be determined largely by a temperature gradient varying from wet-cool climates to dry-warm summers and, additionally, by a moisture gradient. As the climate became wetter and cooler, spruce species tended to be replaced by other spruces with smaller needle leaves and seeds but larger cones and seed scales. A regression analysis showed that spruce species tended to be successively replaced by other species, along the gradient, although the trends observed within species were not necessarily consistent with the overall trend. The climatically driven replacement of the spruces in question could be well indicated by the between-species variation in morphometric traits that carry lower phylogenetic signal. Between-species variation in these traits is driven primarily by climatic factors. These species demonstrate a narrower ecological amplitude in temperature but wider ranges on the moisture gradient.

Usage Notes