Appendix 1. Summary of plant traits

The range of values corresponds to those generally reported for field-grown plants. Ranges of values are based on the literature and the authors’ datasets and do not always necessarily correspond to the widest ranges that exist in nature or are theoretically possible. Recommended sample size indicates the minimum and preferred number of individuals to be sampled, so as to obtain an appropriate indication of the values for the trait of interest: when only one value is given, it corresponds to the number of individuals (=replicates); when two values are given, the first one corresponds to the number of individuals and the second one to the number of organs to be measured per individual. Note that one replicate can be compounded from several individuals (for smaller species), but one individual cannot be used for different replicates. The expected CV range gives the 20th and the 80th percentile of the coefficient of variation (=standard deviation scaled to the mean) as observed in a number of datasets obtained for a range of field plants for different biomes.

  Preferred unit Range of values Recommended number of replicates
 
CV range (%)
      minimum preferred  
2. Whole-plant traits          
2.1. Life history Categorical  - 3  5 -
2.2. Life form Categorical  - 3  5 -
2.3. Growth form Categorical  - 3  5 -
2.4. Plant height m  < 0.01 - 140 10  25 17 - 38
2.5. Clonality Categorical  - 5  10 -
2.6. Spinescence
- Spine length
- Spine width
- Spine length:leaf length
 
mm
mm
Unitless

0.5 - 300
0.5 - 30
0 - 30 
5  10 -
2.7. Branching architecture Nº ramifications per branch 0 - > 100 5  10 -
2.8. Leaf to sapwood area Unitless  100 - 103 5  10 -
2.9. Root mass fraction Unitless  0.15 - 0.40 
(for seedlings, down to 0.10)
5  10 -
2.10. Salt-tolerance traits
- Selective root cation uptake
- Salt excretion and compartmentalisation

Unitless
Categorical

-
-
 
5 10
-
-
2.11. Relative growth rate mg g-1 day-1  2 - 300 10 20  
2.12. Shoot flammability Unitless  0 ~ 3 5 10  
2.13. Water flux traits
- Gap fraction
- Stem flow
- Water retention on plant surface
- Leaf wettability
- Droplet retention ability

Unitless
%
g m-2
degrees (contact angle)
degrees (slope angle) 

0 - 1
0 - 50
0 - 500
0 - 180
0 - 90 
10 20  
3. Leaf traits          
3.1. Specific leaf area m2 kg−1 (mm2 mg−1) A  <1 - 300 5, 5  10, 4 8 - 16
3.2. Area of a leaf mm2  1 – >206 5, 5  10, 4 17 – 36
3.3. Leaf dry matter content mg g−1  50 - 700 5, 5  10, 4 4 – 10
3.4. Leaf thickness mm  < 0.1 - 5 B 5 10  
3.5. pH of green leaves or leaf litter Unitless  3.5 – 6.5 5,5 10, 4 1 – 6
3.6. Leaf nitrogen concentration and leaf phosphorus concentration
a) Leaf nitrogen concentration
b) Leaf phosphorus concentration


mg g−1 
mg g−1


5 - 70
0.2 - 5


5,5
5,5


10, 4
10, 4


8 – 19
10 - 28
3.7. Physical strength of leaves
- Force to tear
- Work to shear
- Force to punch
 
N mm−1
J m-1
N mm-1

0.17 - 40
0.02 - 0.5
0.03 - 1.6
5,5  10, 4  14 – 29
3.8. Leaf lifespan and duration of green foliage
a) Leaf lifespan
b) Duration of green foliage


Month
Month


0.5 - 200
1 – 12
 

5, 40
5


10, 160
10


11 – 39
-
3.9. Photosynthetic pathway Categorical  -  3 3 -
3.10. Vein density mm mm-2  0.5 – 25  5 10  
3.11. Light-saturated photosynthetic rate µmol m-2 s-1  2 - 30  5 10  
3.12. Leaf dark respiration µmol m-2 s-1  0.4 - 4  5 10  
3.13. Electrolyte leakage %  2 – 100  5,5 10, 4 9 – 26
3.14. Leaf water potential MPa  -7 → 0  5,5 5, 10 11 – 33
3.15. Leaf palatability % leaf area consumed  0 – 100  10 20  
3.16. Litter decomposability C % mass loss  0-100  10 20 7 – 14
4. Stem traits          
4.1. Stem specific density mg mm−3 (kg l−1) A  0.1 - 1.3  5 10 5 – 9
4.2. Twig dry matter content mg g−1  150 – 850  5 10 2 – 8
4.3. Bark thickness mm  0.1 - >30  5 10  
4.4. Xylem conductivity

- stem-specific xylem hydraulic conductivity (KS)

- leaf-area specific xylem hydraulic conductivity (KL)
 


kg m-1 s-1 MPa-1



kg m-1 s-1 MPa-1
 KS: 1 (gymnosperms)
to 200 (tropical lianas)
 
KL: 6 x 10-5 (gymnosperms)
to 1 x 10-2 (tropical lianas)
 5 10 21 – 63
4.5. Vulnerability to embolism (Ψ50) MPa  -0.25 - 14  5 10 20 – 45
5. Belowground traits          
5.1. Specific root length m g-1  3 – 350   5, 10 10, 10 15 – 24
5.2. Root system morphology
- Depth
- Lateral extent
- Density of exploration
m
m
mm mm-3
0.05 - 70
0.05 - 40
10-4 - 1
 5 10  
5.3. Nutrient uptake strategy Categorical  -  5 10 -
6. Regenerative traits          
6.1. Dispersal mode Categorical  -  3  6 -
6.2. Dispersule size and shape
- Size (mass)
- Shape

mg (g) A
Unitless
 

0 – 1
 
5
3

10
6
 

-
6.3. Dispersal potential dispersules dispersed / dispersules produced  -  10 20 -
6.4. Seed mass mg  10-3 - 107  5 10 14 – 27
6.5. Seedling morphology Categorical  -  3 6 -
6.6. Resprouting capacity Unitless  0 – 100  5 10 -




Alternative preferred units between brackets.
B Considering only photosynthetic tissue; total leaf thickness can be >40 mm in some succulent plants.
C Replicate numbers correspond to the number of individual plants (replicates) from which to collect leaf litter; number of leaves in each sample will depend on its weight and the size of the litterbag.