Plant functional traits are measurable characteristics of plants that can serve as proxies for their success and fitness. The use of functional traits has risen dramatically in the past decade to predict and understand community composition and global change impacts.

We are interested in using functional traits to better understand community assembly and composition in a changing world. We are also interested in understanding the relationships among functional traits and how these relate to organisms’ life history strategies and their evolutionary history. We are measuring plant traits thought to correspond to dispersal ability, stress tolerance, competitive ability, and growth rate. We are also examining how traits change over time and the specific relationship between dispersal and persistence traits.