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From functional to mechanistic: coordination between turgor loss point and traits related to drought tolerance in herbaceous plants
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  • Maria Majekova,
  • Tomas Hajek,
  • Agnes Albert,
  • Francesco de Bello,
  • Jiri Dolezal,
  • Lars Götzenberger,
  • Štěpán Janeček,
  • Jan Leps,
  • pierre liancourt,
  • Ondrej Mudrak
Maria Majekova
University of Tubingen Faculty of Science
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Tomas Hajek
Institute of Botany
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Agnes Albert
Institute of Botany Czech Academy of Sciences
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Francesco de Bello
Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas
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Jiri Dolezal
Institute of Botany Czech Academy of Sciences
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Lars Götzenberger
Botanicky Ustav Akademie Ved Ceske Republiky
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Štěpán Janeček
Charles University
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Jan Leps
University of South Bohemia
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pierre liancourt
Czech Academy of Sciences
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Ondrej Mudrak
Institute of Botany, Czech Academy of Sciences, Dukelská 135, CZ37982, Třeboň, Czech Republic
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Abstract

We addressed the recent plea for a use of traits with a direct mechanistic link to drought tolerance to be considered in trait-based and global change ecology. On 122 herbaceous species covering a broad range of water availability conditions in temperate grasslands, we demonstrated the feasibility of the use of turgor loss point (πtlp), a key leaf drought tolerance trait that becomes operational for large-scale studies via the novel osmometry method. We investigated the coordination of this mechanistic trait with other commonly used proxies of drought tolerance. πtlpwas not or very weakly coordinated with the first two leading dimension of the global spectrum of form and function, plant height and specific leaf area. πtlp was tightly coordinated with intrinsic water use efficiency and leaf dry matter content. We suggest that stratification by plant functional types and/or accounting for species phylogeny might help to identify trait relationships that may be transferable among different systems.