Stress Increases Holeyness of Trait-Space Occupation in Plant Communities
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Functional diversity is an aspect of biodiversity that captures trait-based differences in communities and it is important for understanding how communities are assembled from regional species pools. Functional diversity is often measured as the convex hull hypervolume or area occupied by a community in multidimensional trait space. While hypervolumes offer valuable insights into the degree of variation within a community, it has been suggested the “solid” nature of calculated hypervolumes could be deceptively simplistic. Blonder (2016) has proposed that the observed “presence or absence of features within hypervolumes”, or “holes” can be quantitatively determined and observed. With the establishment of absences of trait combinations within hypervolumes, new insights can be made into the evolution of species pools and community assembly.