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© 2020 The Authors. Ecography published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Nordic Society Oikos Understanding the determinants of species distributions is a central topic in ecology. Competition, stress tolerance and colonization, respectively represented by Grime's competitor (C), stress-tolerator (S) and ruderal (R) schemes, are three important functions that interactively influence plant distributions. In this study, we compiled a dataset of 2645 vascular plant species to explore the roles of the CSR strategies in global plant distribution. We analyzed the associations between the CSR scores and species range size with phylogenetic generalized least square (PGLS) models and phylogenetic path analysis, both of which accounted for the effects of species phylogenetic relatedness, longevity and growth form. The functional strategy-range size associations differed across different distributional ranges and growth forms. Specifically, species global and native range sizes were positively associated with the R score; species naturalized range size was positively associated with the C score; and all range-size measurements were negatively associated with the S score. These patterns were mostly driven by herbs but not shrubs or trees. For species global and native-range distributions, the patterns of shrubs were even opposite to those of herbs. Our work emphasizes the importance of distinguishing the functional strategy-distribution associations between different distributional ranges and growth forms for ecosystem conservation and invasion risk prediction, because of the trade-offs among the CSR strategies.

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