Why trees and shrubs but rarely trubs?

M. Scheffer, R.O.H. Vergnon, J.H.C. Cornelissen, S. Hantson, M. Holmgren, E.H. van Nes, C. Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialAcademicpeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


An analysis of the maximum height of woody plant species across the globe reveals that an intermediate size is remarkably rare. We speculate that this may be due to intrinsic suboptimality or to ecosystem bistability with open landscapes favouring shrubs, and closed canopies propelling trees to excessive tallness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-434
JournalTrends in Ecology and Evolution
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • savanna
  • forest
  • transitions
  • height


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