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There is limited information regarding plant functional traits for plant communities in tropical coastal sand dunes. This study investigated differences in species trait compositions and the relationship between community-weighted mean (CWM) traits and soil properties on the windward and leeward sides of the Bang Boet coastal sand dunes in southern Thailand. Ten sampling plots were randomly selected from each side of the dune. All woody plant species were collected and their functional traits were assessed. Soil samples were also collected. A redundancy analysis (RDA) was used to examine the relationship between CWM traits and soil properties. The results showed that species trait compositions and the CWMs of specific leaf area, leaf thickness, and leaf toughness were significantly different between windward and leeward sides. The RDA showed significant correlation between CWM traits and soil properties, particularly for specific leaf area, a functional trait that plays an important role in nutrient turnover on the leeward side. These results indicate that soil properties are predictable based on CWM traits and that leeward sand dune sides can support greater soil formation than windward sides. Hence, functional traits, as well as species, should be considered in coastal sand dune restoration and conservation programs.
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