Güneybatı Anadolu’da Rakımsal Bir Gradiyent Boyunca Bitki Komünitelerinin Fonksiyonel Karakter Yapısının Değişimi
Coşgun, Zeynep Ladin
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Functional traits are the set of measurable and observable traits that directly or indirectly affect the adaptation of species to their environment and ecological conditions, their survival, and the continuation of their generation. Functional traits are directly related to understanding the life history traits and evolutionary-biogeographic history of species. To understand plant community dynamics and plant communities' responses to interventions, the functional traits approach has been widely used in ecological studies in recent years. Despite the high level of species diversity it has, the number of studies conducted in this area in Anatolia is quite low. Within the scope of this thesis, the changes in the functional trait pattern of plant communities along an altitude gradient rising from sea level to 3007 m including different Mediterranean vegetation belts in southwestern Anatolia were investigated. In the study, the relationship of plant functional traits with altitude gradient and climatic variables was revealed. Leaf and stem samples were collected by direct field sampling along the altitude gradient, and field and laboratory measurements of functional traits were taken with appropriate methods. The main functional traits measured are leaf specific area, thickness, plant height, stem density, leaf dry matter content. With the findings obtained as a result of the analysis, the functional trait pattern, the change and diversity in the communities along the altitude gradient on a mountain that is thought to be representative for the Mediterranean were revealed, and the distribution of the traits according to the different growth patterns of the plants throughout the communities was examined. The changes in the plant trait structure of the communities as the altitude increased were tested with basic statistics, generalized additive models and linear models. For many traits, a linear relationship was not detected along the altitude gradient, the change manifested itself in the form of oscillations. The findings obtained from the study showed that the gradient's covering all Mediterranean belts and a wide range from sea level to the mountain peak, in the studies of altitude gradients in the Mediterranean Basin, showed functional trait changes along the gradient. demonstrated that it is necessary to identify In addition, it will contribute to the field of ecology by providing data to the literature from a valuable geography such as Anatolia, creating a resource for studies focused on conservation biology in the long term, and being a pioneer for other studies that can be done in this field.