ASSEMBLE will search for generalities in community formation based on functional trait data from a large range of plant communities from different regions of NW-Europe. Based on these data, different analyses are carried out in four individual projects (IP´s):
Analysing probably the world´s largest dataset of focal plot descriptions, in both a temporal and a spatial context, IP I reveals differences in functional trait composition between the abstract community species pool and the local community species composition.
The temporal axis of community assembly will be understood from time series analysis where species dynamics are explained by functional trait combinations.
The spatial axis of community assembly will be understood from incidence analysis of plants in a metacommunity, explained by the spatiotemporal arrangement of local communities.
Sowing experiments will test assembly rules found in the observational studies. These experiments will test whether species immigration success will depend more on similar or dissimilar trait composition of the resident community.
All analyses search for functional trait responses. Individual analyses of partners will be synthesised to find general assembly processes across ecological differences in various European landscapes.