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Journal Articles Folia Geobotanica Year : 2016

On the opportunity of using phylogenetic information to ask evolutionary questions in functional community ecology

Abstract

In a recent forum article (“On the need for phylogenetic ‘corrections’ in functional trait-based approaches”), de Bello et al. develop a valuable perspective on using phylogenies in functional trait-based approaches. In this comment, I show that the article, just like much of present-day ecology, treats phylogenetic patterns as informative about evolution in species-level studies, but as a proxy of ecological processes in community-level studies. Phylogenetic patterns are rarely used as an opportunity to understand evolutionary processes across communities. I try to contribute to filling these gaps. I suggest applications of phylogenetic information as a proxy in comparative studies and as a correction in community studies. More importantly, I expand, systematize and criticize the assumptions made when using phylogeny as a proxy in community studies. I finally develop a concept suggesting that communities serve an evolutionary function by maintaining the outcome of ancient and recent macroevolutionary diversification of traits. I suggest questions regarding the environments in which communities maintain a particular scenario of trait diversification and on the feedback communities may have on trait diversification
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Dates and versions

hal-01308001 , version 1 (27-04-2016)

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Andreas Prinzing. On the opportunity of using phylogenetic information to ask evolutionary questions in functional community ecology. Folia Geobotanica, 2016, 51 (1), pp.69-74. ⟨10.1007/s12224-016-9242-3⟩. ⟨hal-01308001⟩
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