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New tool helps model forest traits and evolution

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Researchers have developed plant, a software framework, to investigate how plant species differing in traits may be able to coexist with one another.

The core rules in plant concern the short-term physiological functioning of an individual plant and how this is influenced by its traits, size, and light environment. plant provides a transparent platform for investigating how physiological rules and functional trade-offs interact with competition and disturbances to influence vegetation structure and diversity.

The tool is described in a Methods in Ecology and Evolution article. The article is part of a Demography Beyond the Population Special Feature that is a unique large-scale ecological collaboration including articles in all six British Ecological Society journals. Its goal is to highlight the potential of demography to connect across scales and inform a broad range of questions in ecology and evolution.

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