Intra-Specific Trait Variation and Plant Interactions

Studies on trait-based ecology have generally ignored the importance of intra-specific trait differences. However, individuals are far from being redundant and the consideration of within-species trait variation can help us elucidate many important mechanisms underlying species interactions. One of my main areas of interest is to investigate the role of the intra-specific trait variation in plant community assembly.

Some of the questions on intraspecific trait variation have been developed in El Verde Field Station in Luquillo, Puerto Rico where I have been working with seedling communities. In 2013, with my field assistant, Roxy Cruz-de-Hoyos, we published a rapid color guide for the seedling species present at El Yunque.

Photo: by Roxy Cruz-de-Hoyos