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Abstract Detail

4D Botany of the Anthropogenic Environment

Schweiger, Anna K. [1], Cavender-Bares, Jeannine [1].

Spectral profiles of plants: Integrating multiple dimensions of biodiversity.

Loss of plant biodiversity imperils ecosystem functions and services because many ecosystem processes depend on functional differentiations among plants. Functional diversity promotes resource partitioning and facilitation across spatial and temporal scales. Assessment of functional diversity is thus critical but also complicated. Both practical limitations and incomplete knowledge impede our ability to decipher and measure the most important traits for particular ecosystem functions. Assessing the variability among individuals in these traits, the effects of species interactions, and the spatial and temporal distribution of key limiting resources adds additional difficulty. Spectroscopic techniques can advance efforts to address these challenges. Spectral profiles at the leaf or whole plant level can be used as integrated measures of phenotypes, because chemical, anatomical, and morphological characteristics of plants determine how light is reflected from the visible (VIS, 400–700 nm), to the near- (NIR, 700–1000 nm), and short wave-infrared (SWIR, 1000–2500 nm) regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Spectral measurements can be acquired in a rapid and repeatable way, they can be performed at the individual level even when taxonomic identities are unknown, and they are scalable to remote sensing, allowing frequent observations of large areas. This presentation will illustrate how spectral profiles can be used to detect different dimensions of biodiversity and ecosystem function across spatial scales, ranging from the leaf to the canopy level. Data from the long term biodiversity experiment at the Cedar Creek LTER shows that spectral diversity predicts functional and phylogenetic diversity, and explains more total variation in aboveground productivity than other diversity metrics. Furthermore, species appear to retain unique trait combinations across the biodiversity gradient that can be captured spectrally. This dissimilarity of species’ spectral profiles increases with phylogenetic distance and enables species to be spectrally distinguishable despite high intra-specific trait variability. Our results highlight how spectral data can further our understanding of the consequences of different biodiversity components for ecosystem function and facilitate consistent and standardized biodiversity monitoring globally.

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1 - University of Minnesota, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, 1479 Gortner Ave, Saint Paul, MN, 55108, USA

plant function.

Presentation Type: Symposium Presentation
Session: SY1, 4D Botany of the Anthropogenic Environment
Location: Sundance 3/Omni Hotel
Date: Monday, June 26th, 2017
Time: 8:00 AM
Number: SY1001
Abstract ID:459
Candidate for Awards:None

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