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Trait means predict performance under water limitation better than plasticity for seedlings of Poaceae species on the eastern Tibetan Plateau

Citation

Li, Honglin; Li, Xilai; Zhou, Xiaolong (2021), Trait means predict performance under water limitation better than plasticity for seedlings of Poaceae species on the eastern Tibetan Plateau, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.cz8w9gj0j

Abstract

Water availability may be altered by changes in precipitation under global climate change in alpine areas. Trait means and plasticity are important for plants in response to a changing environment. In an examination of alpine plant responses to changed water availability, and for determination of how trait means and plasticity predict the performance (e.g., biomass) of these species, seeds of ten Poaceae species from the eastern Tibetan Plateau were sown and grown in a manipulated environment during a growing season in which rainfall was removed and other climate conditions remained unchanged. Growth and leaf traits of these species were measured. We found significant effects of moderate water stress on the seedling biomass of these species; however, the responses of these species to changed water condition were strongly dependent on species identity. For example, the biomass of some species significantly decreased under moderate drought, whereas that of others were either significantly increased or unaffected. This pattern was also observed for growth and leaf traits. Overall, the alpine Poaceae species showed low plasticity of traits in response to water availability relative to reports from other areas. Notably, the results show that trait means were better correlated with the productivity than with the plasticity of traits; thus, we argue that the trait means were better predictors of performance than plasticity for alpine Poaceae species. Poaceae species in alpine areas are important for forage production and for water catchment health worldwide, and these species may face water shortage because of current and future climate change. Understanding the response of alpine Poaceae species to water availability would facilitate our ability to predict the impacts of climate change on the alpine vegetation.

Usage Notes

The raw data of ECE-2019-03-00382.R3

The species name and mean of Biomass, Root shoot ratio (R:S), Relative growth rate (RGR), shoot height (height), leaf area (LA), Relative leaf water content (RLWC), Specific leaf area (SLA), Photosynthetic rate, Transpiration rate for each species under both treatment (well-watered and moderate-drought) in our study were listed.

EE_Data.csv

Funding

Qinghai Science and Technology Department, Award: 2018-ZJ-929Q