Plant traits inform predictions of tundra responses to global change

Isla H. Myers-smith, Haydn J.d. Thomas, Anne D. Bjorkman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the rapidly warming tundra biome, plant traits provide an essential link between ongoing vegetation change and feedbacks to key ecosystem functions. However, only recently have comprehensive trait data been compiled for tundra species and sites, allowing us to assess key elements of functional responses to global change. In this review, we summarize trait‐based research in tundra ecosystems, with a focus on three components: plant trait variation and how it compares with global patterns; shifts in community‐level traits in response to environmental change; and the use of traits to understand and predict ecosystem function. Quantifying patterns and trends in plant traits will allow us to better project the consequences of environmental change for the ecology and functioning of tundra ecosystems.
Original languageEnglish
Article number
JournalNew Phytologist
Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2018


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