Will Cornwell

School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences (BEES)
University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
[email protected]; @will_cornwell


For the most up-to-date list please see my google scholar page

2011 + in press

V. Brovkin, P.M. van Bodegom, T. Kleinen, C. Wirth, W.K. Cornwell, J.H.C. Cornelissen, J. Kattge  accepted pending revision .  Plant-driven variation in decomposition rates improves projections of global litter stock distribution.  Biogeosciences.

Westoby, M., W.K. Cornwell. and D.S. Falster. accepted pending revision .  AN EVOLUTIONARY ATTRACTOR MODEL FOR SAPWOOD CROSS SECTION IN RELATION TO LEAF AREA.  Journal of Theoretical Biology.

Akhmetzhanova  A., N. Soudzilovskaia, V. Onipchenko, W.K. Cornwell, V. Agafonov, I. Selivanov, and J.H.C. Cornelissen. in press A re-discovered treasure: mycorrhizal intensity database for 3000 vascular plants species across former Soviet Union.  Ecology.

Kattge, J. and many others.  in press. Try – a global database of plant traitsGlobal Change Biology.
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Moles, A.T., I.R. Wallis, W.J. Foley, D.I. Warton, J.C. Stegen, A.J. Bisigato, L. Cella-Pizarro, C.J. Clark, P.S. Cohen, W.K. Cornwell, and 37 others. 2011. Putting plant defenses on the map: a test of the idea that plants are better defended at lower latitudes. New Phytologist. 191: 777-788
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this is controversial: see this comment

Vellend, M., W.K. Cornwell, K. Magnuson-Ford, and A. Mooers. 2011. Measuring phylogenetic biodiversity. in Biological Diversity: Frontiers in Measurement and Assessmenteds A.E. Magurran and B.J. McGill.  Oxford University Press.
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Kooyman R., M. Rosetto, W.K. Cornwell and M. Westoby. in press. Phylogenetic tests of community assembly across regional to continental scales in tropical and sub-tropical rainforests. Global Ecology and Biogeography.

Freschet, G.T., A.T.C. Dias, D.D. Ackerly, R. Aertys, P.M. van Bodegom, W.K. Cornwell, M. Dong, H. Kirokawa, G. Liu, V.G. Onipchenko, J.C. Ordonez, D.A. Peltzer, S.J. Richardson, I.I. Shidakov, N.A. Soudzilovskaia, J. Tao, J.H.C. Cornelissen. in press. Global to community scale differences in the prevalence of convergent over divergent leaf trait distributions in plant assemblages Global Ecology and Biogeography.

Hudson, J.M.G., G.H.R. Henry, and W.K. Cornwell. in press . Taller and larger in the Arctic: shifts in leaf traits after 16 years of experimental warming. Global Change Biology.
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Cornwell, W.K. and D.D. Ackerly. 2010. A link between plant traits and abundance: evidence from woody plants in coastal California. Journal of Ecology 98: 814-821.
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D.D. Ackerly, S.R. Loarie, W.K. Cornwell and 4 others. 2010. The geography of climate change: implications for conservation biogeography. Diversity and Distributions. 16: 476- 487
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Sack, L., W.K. Cornwell, and 6 others. 2010. A unique web resource for physiology, ecology and the environmental sciences: PrometheusWiki. Functional Plant Biology 37: 687-693

Kembel, S.W., P.D. Cowan, M.R. Helmus, W.K. Cornwell, and 4 others. 2010. Picante: R tools for integrating phylogenies and ecology. Bioinformatics 26: 1462-1464.

Kooyman R., W.K. Cornwell and M. Westoby. 2010. Partitioning functional trait variation into within- and among-community components for Australian sub-tropical rainforest. Journal of Ecology 98: 517-525.


Cornwell, W.K., J.H.C. Cornelissen, S.D. Allison, J. Bauhus, P. Eggleton, C.M. Preston, F. Scarff, J.T. Weedon, C. Wirth, A.E. Zanne. 2009. Plant traits and wood fates across the globe—rotted, burned, or consumed? Global Change Biology 15: 2431-2449.
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Cernusak, L.A., G. Tcherkez, C. Keitel, W.K. Cornwell, L.S. Santiago, A. Knohl, M.M. Barbour, D.G. Williams, P.B. Reich, D.S. Ellsworth, T.E. Dawson, H.G. Griffiths, G.D. Farquhar, I.J. Wright, and M. Westoby. 2009. Within plant variation in stable carbon isotopes: why are non-photosynthetic tissues generally δ13C enriched compared to leaves? Functional Plant Biology. 36: 199-213.
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Cornwell, W.K. and Ackerly D.D. 2009. Community assembly and shifts in the distribution of trait values across an environmental gradient in coastal California. Ecological Monographs 79: 109-126
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Weedon J.T., W.K. Cornwell, Cornelissen J.H.C., Zanne A., Wirth C. and Coomes D. 2009. Global meta-analysis of wood decomposition rates: the role of wood traits. Ecology Letters
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Cornwell, W.K., J.H.C. Cornelissen, K. Amatangelo, E. Dorrepaal, V.T. Eviner, O. Godoy, S.E. Hobbie, B. Hoorens, Hiroko Kurokawa, N. Perez Harguindeguy, H.M. Quested, L.S. Santiago, D.A. Wardle, I.J. Wright, R. Aerts, S.D. Allison, P. van Bodegom, V. Brovkin, A. Chatain, T. Callaghan, S. Dıaz, E. Garnier, D.E. Gurvich, E. Kazakou, J.A. Klein, J. Read, P.B. Reich, N.A. Soudzilovskaia, M.V. Vaieretti, and M. Westoby. 2008. Plant species traits are the predominant control on litter decomposition rates within biomes worldwide Ecology Letters 11: 1065-1071
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Cornwell, W.K., R. Bhaskar, L. Sack, S. Cordell, and C. K. Lunch. 2007. Adjustment of structure and function of Hawaiian Metrosideros polymorpha at high versus low precipitation Functional Ecology.
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Cover article

Kraft, N.J.B., W.K. Cornwell, C.O. Webb, and D.D. Ackerly. 2007. Trait evolution, community assembly, and the phylogenetic structure of ecological communities. American Naturalist 170: 271-283
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2008 Presidential award winner for best paper of the year in Am Nat

Ackerly D.D. and W.K. Cornwell. 2007. A trait-based approach to community assembly: partitioning of species trait values into within- and among-community components.   Ecology Letters 10: 135-145.
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Faculty of 1000 selection


Cornwell, W.K., D.W. Schwilk, and D. D. Ackerly. 2006. A trait-based test for habitat filtering: convex hull volume. Ecology 87: 1465-1471.
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Preston, K. A., W. K. Cornwell. and J. Denoyer. 2006. Wood density and vessel traits as distinct correlates of ecological strategy in 51 California coast range angiosperms. New Phytologist 170: 1007-818.
full text pdf or see the journal version
Collected in a “virtual special issue”


Cornwell, W.K. and P.J. Grubb. 2003. Regional and local patterns of plant species richness with respect to resource availability. Oikos 100: 417-428.
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Flecker A.S., B.W. Taylor, E.S. Bernhardt, J.M. Hood, W.K. Cornwell, S.R. Cassatt, M.J. Vanni, and N.S. Altman. 2002. Interactions between herbivorous fishes and limiting nutrients in a tropical stream ecosystem. Ecology 83: 1831-1844.
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Cornwell W.K., Bedford B.L., and Chapin C.T. 2001. Occurrence of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in a phosphorus-poor wetland and mycorrhizal response to phosphorus fertilization. American Journal of Botany 88: 1824-1829.
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