New paper: Shoot growth of woody trees and shrubs is predicted by maximum plant height and associated traits

Our new paper is out, and lead author Sean Gleason has written a great plain English summary here:

Functional Ecology: Plain Language Summaries

Sean M. Gleason, Andrea E. A. Stephens, Wade C. Tozer, Chris J. Blackman, Don W. Butler, Yvonne Chang, Alicia M. Cook, Julia Cooke, Claire A. Laws, Julieta A. Rosell, Stephanie A. Stuart, Mark Westoby

Plant species differ in the rate of elongation and thickening of individual branches (shoots).  This variation is important because it influences the outcome of competition between plants.  Although growth can be measured relatively easily, it is poorly understood how plant characteristics (traits), such as leaf size, water transport and height influence growth rate, as well as how the influence of these traits on growth might change from one environment to another.  For example, although leaves are important for capturing sunlight and converting atmospheric carbon dioxide into plant matter, it is less well understood if larger leaves result in faster growth than smaller leaves, or if the influence of leaf size might be more important in some…

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