The main objective of ASSEMBLE is to understand the rules that govern the assembly of local plant communities from the species available in fragmented landscapes, based on functional traits, with a focus on generalisations across particular systems.
More specifically we aim at four objectives that are worked out in four Individual Projects (IP´s).
- The search for generalities after mapping functional traits to changes in species composition within classified communities types based on historic and recent focal site descriptions from different regions of NW-Europe.
- Understanding sequence effects from long-term time series analysis in terms of species dynamics explained by functional trait combinations in local communities.
- Understanding functional diversity of local communities from the spatio-temporal arrangement of a metacommunity.
- Experimental testing of immigration to one community type but differing in species composition and diversity by means of sowing using predictions based on objectives one and two.
The common focus of all IP´s will be to compare functional traits associated to dominance and lottery competition in local community assembly and their trade-off with dispersal traits in meta-community assembly (Fig. 1).
Fig. 1 The theoretical trade-off structure between traits associated with local versus regional assembly mechanisms