Species traits : a functional approach to biodiversity, from organisms to ecosystems

Next formation

December 11-16, Valencia, Spain!


In 2022, we are presenting the 9th edition of the graduate thematic course, this year sponsored principally by the following centres : CSIC, Spain, the Centre for Forest Research (CFR: http://www.cef-cfr.ca), the Quebec Centre for Biodiversity Science (CSBQ ),

The course is offered for credit for MSc and PhD students: Sujets spéciaux en écologie fonctionnelle FOR - 7034 (3 credits, course at Université Laval) and students from other universities in Quebec can register through the system of exchange of credits among Quebec universities  (CRÉPUQ).

Registration and Practical Information

The price of 360 euros (490 CAN$, 380 US$ about) includes room and meals at the field school. To apply please fill out this form: [https://framaforms.org/application-for-the-trait-winter-school-in-spain-dec-2022-1650115582]. We require this form and CV to evaluate applicants. The deadline for application is September 20 and accepted students will be informed by October 7th. For any questions refer to Francesco de Bello : francesco.bello@ext.uv.es

2016 participants

2015 participants

2011 participants


  1. Presentation of concepts and theory related to functional plant traits
  2. Analysis of traits at organismal, community and ecosystem levels (including relationship to ecosystem function and ecological services)
  3. Examples of use for land use change, climate change, plant-microbe interactions
  4. Measures of traits in the field in teams, analysis and presentation of data
  5. Presentation of available data banks and their correct use


Professors confirmed to date for 2022 include Eric Garnier, Alison Munson, Juan Posada, Bill Shipley, Francesco de Bello, Juli Pausus and Miguel Verdu.

Course content (Syllabus )

A detailed program will be available for the end of July, however, the objectives and many of the topics covered are detailed here. The course includes measurement of traits in the field in teams (supervised by professors), followed by analyses, interpretation and presentation of collected data to the group at the end of the week. Registered students will also present their research topic to the group for discussion.

Participants and pictures

Year Location Participants Picture
2016 Czech Republic See See
2015 Québec See See
2013 Colombia See See
2012 France See See
2011 Québec See See
2009 Québec See See


Required reading list

Reference book

  • Garnier, E, Navas M-L and Grigulis, K. (in press). Plant Functional Diversity - Organismic traits, community structure, ecosystem properties. Oxford University Press.
  • Garnier, E and Navas M-L. 2013. Diversité fonctionnelle des plantes: Traits des organisms, structure des communautés, propriétés des écosystèmes. De boeck. 353 p.
  • Grime, J.P. (2001) Plant Strategies, Vegetation Processes, and Ecosystem Properties, 2nd Edition edn. John Wiley & Sons, Chichester.

Standard protocols

Recommended by profs in 2018

  • Adler, P.B., Salguero-Gómez, R., Compagnoni, A., Hsu, J.S. & Ray-mukherjee, J. (2014). Functional traits explain variation in plant life history strategies. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 111, 740–745.
  • Freschet G.T., Valverde-Barrantes O.J., Tucker C.M., Craine J.M., McCormack M.L., Violle C., Fort F., Blackwood, C.B. et al. (2017) Climate, soil and plant functional types as drivers of global fine-root trait variation. Journal of Ecology, 105, 1182-1196.
  • Jiminez-Alfaro, B. Silveira, F.A.O., Fidelis, A., Poschlod, P., Commander, L.E. (2016). Seed germination traits can contribute better to plant community ecology. Journal of Vegetation Science 27: 637–645.
  • Valverde-Barrantes O.J., Freschet G.T., Roumet C., Blackwood C.B. (2017). A worldview of root traits: the influence of ancestry, growth form, climate and mycorrhizal association on the functional trait variation of fine root tissues in seed plants. New Phytologist, 215, 1562-1573.
  • Yang, J., Cao, M. and Swenson, N.G. 2018. Why Functional Traits Do Not Predict Tree Demographic Rates. TREE https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2018.03.003

Other priority readings

And more if you have extra time…

********************************************************** *************************** FRQNT ************************ **********************************************************

Le CEF est un
regroupement stratégique du

********************************************************** *********************** Infolettre *********************** **********************************************************

Subscribe to
the CFR newsletter!

********************************************************** *************** Pub - Colloque CEF 2023 ***************** **********************************************************

16e Colloque du CEF

Le 8 mai 2023
à l'Université de Montréal

********************************************************** ********* Cours ************ **********************************************************

25e édition du cours d'été d'Aménagement des écosystèmes forestiers 
Cours intensif à la Forêt d’enseignement et de recherche du Lac Duparquet, Abitibi, du 14 au 25 août 2023.

********************************************************** *************** Pub - Instant fleurs ***************** **********************************************************

********************************************************** ********* Mémoire CEF Changements Climatiques ************ **********************************************************

********************************************************** ***************** Pub - Symphonies_Boreales ****************** **********************************************************