Interesting paper on trait-environment relationships

It is nice to see Animal Ecology publishing invertebrate community trait work. Here is the link: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1365-2656.12249/abstract

I really like that this paper deals with a good variety of traits – including phenological traits which is great. A side from the obvious problems with the experimental design and the fact that the dataset was phylogenetically autocorrelated, all  acknowledged by the the authors, I still feel like this paper had a few extra problems. Firstly they talk about community assembly  – but really they didn’t assess assembly in an explicit way – they just assumed that environmental effects of disturbance would be the most important. They also really didn’t capture many of the environmental variables that are likely to change and be important for carabids, spiders and plants e.g. canopy cover. If they had done so, the fourth corner analysis would have been more useful. Measuring quantitative morphological traits on the beetles/spiders, such as robustness (ala Barton et al 2011) would have strengthened this paper too.

Nonetheless, this paper provides more evidence for the usefulness of measuring body length and dispersal traits in understanding community responses to disturbance.

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