Research Ecologist USDA-ARS (Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research Center, Burns, OR) Boulder, Colorado, United States
Trait-based ecology developed from decades of research exploring how plants develop, respond to their environment, and coexist. The bulk of progress has elucidated mature plant functioning via leaf, rooting, and growth traits. However, multiple calls have been made, to extend the full reach of trait-based ecology towards plant regeneration, characterizing the functional strategies of seeds and seedlings as critical (yet overlooked) drivers of populations and communities. In this session, we answer these calls. Speakers explore early trait ecology through several lenses, answering several questions and raising many more, with the aim of inspiring and guiding future progress in the field.