Assembly of functional diversity in an oceanic island flora

Barbosa, Martha Paola Barajas; Craven, Dylan; Weigelt, Patrick; Denelle, Pierre; Otto, Rudiger; Diaz, Sandra; Price, Jonathan; Fernandez-Palacios, Jose Maria; Kreft, Holger


Oceanic island floras are well known for their morphological peculiarities and exhibit striking examples of trait evolution(1-3). These morphological shifts are commonly attributed to insularity and are thought to be shaped by the biogeographical processes and evolutionary histories of oceanic islands(2,4). However, the mechanisms through which biogeography and evolution have shaped the distribution and diversity of plant functional traits remain unclear(5). Here we describe the functional trait space of the native flora of an oceanic island (Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain) using extensive field and laboratory measurements, and relate it to global trade-offs in ecological strategies. We find that the island trait space exhibits a remarkable functional richness but that most plants are concentrated around a functional hotspot dominated by shrubs with a conservative life-history strategy. By dividing the island flora into species groups associated with distinct biogeographical distributions and diversification histories, our results also suggest that colonization via long-distance dispersal and the interplay between inter-island dispersal and archipelago-level speciation processes drive functional divergence and trait space expansion. Contrary to our expectations, speciation via cladogenesis has led to functional convergence, and therefore only contributes marginally to functional diversity by densely packing trait space around shrubs. By combining biogeography, ecology and evolution, our approach opens new avenues for trait-based insights into how dispersal, speciation and persistence shape the assembly of entire native island floras.

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Título según WOS: ID WOS:001028865500017 Not found in local WOS DB
Título de la Revista: NATURE
Fecha de publicación: 2023


Notas: ISI