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A trait-based test for habitat filtering: Convex hull volume

January 1, 2006

Community assembly theory suggests that two processes affect the distribution of trait values within communities: competition and habitat filtering. Within a local community, competition leads to ecological differentiation of coexisting species, while habitat filtering reduces the spread of trait values, reflecting shared ecological tolerances. Many statistical tests for the effects of competition exist in the literature, but measures of habitat filtering are less well-developed. Here, we present convex hull volume, a construct from computational geometry, which provides an n-dimensional measure of the volume of trait space occupied by species in a community. Combined with ecological null models, this measure offers a useful test for habitat filtering. We use convex hull volume and a null model to analyze California woody-plant trait and community data. Our results show that observed plant communities occupy less trait space than expected from random assembly, a result consistent with habitat filtering. ?? 2006 by the Ecological Society of America.

Publication Year 2006
Title A trait-based test for habitat filtering: Convex hull volume
Authors W.K. Cornwell, D. W. Schwilk, D. D. Ackerly
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Ecology
Index ID 70028336
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse