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Not all traits are functional: the Panglossian paradigm
  • Rob Salguero-Gómez,
  • Daniel C Laughlin
Rob Salguero-Gómez
Department of Botany, University of Wyoming, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Daniel C Laughlin
Department of Botany, University of Wyoming


The popularity of trait-based approaches continues to rise despite challenges in identifying strong links between traits and organism performance. Here, we summarise evidence demonstrating that not all traits appear to be functional, and discuss how life history theory and demography can help elucidate which, how, where, and when traits gain functionality