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Significant effects of temperature on the reproductive output of the forest herb Anemone nemorosa L.
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2010 (English)In: Forest Ecology and Management, ISSN 0378-1127, Vol. 259, no 4, 809-817 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Climate warming is already influencing plant migration in different parts of the world.Numerous modelshave been developed to forecast future plant distributions. Few studies, however, have investigated thepotential effect of warming on the reproductive output of plants. Understorey forest herbs in particular,have received little attention in the debate on climate change impacts.This study focuses on the effect of temperature on sexual reproductive output (number of seeds, seedmass, germination percentage and seedling mass) of Anemone nemorosa L., a model species for slowcolonizing herbaceous forest plants. We sampled seeds of A. nemorosa in populations along a 2400 kmlatitudinal gradient from northern France to northern Sweden during three growing seasons (2005, 2006and 2008). This study design allowed us to isolate the effects of accumulated temperature (GrowingDegree Hours; GDH) from latitude and the local abiotic and biotic environment. Germination and seedsowing trials were performed in incubators, a greenhouse and under field conditions in a forest. Finally,we disentangled correlations between the different reproductive traits of A. nemorosa along thelatitudinal gradient.We found a clear positive relationship between accumulated temperature and seed and seedlingtraits: reproductive output of A. nemorosa improved with increasing GDH along the latitudinal gradient.Seedmass and seedling mass, for instance, increased by 9.7% and 10.4%, respectively, for every 1000 8C hincrease in GDH.Wealso derived strong correlations between several seed and seedling traits both underfield conditions and in incubators. Our results indicate that seed mass, incubator-based germinationpercentage (Germ%Inc) and the output of germinable seeds (product of number of seeds and Germ%Incdivided by 100) from plants grown along a latitudinal gradient (i.e. at different temperature regimes)provide valuable proxies to parameterize key population processes in models.We conclude that (1) climate warming may have a pronounced positive impact on sexualreproduction of A. nemorosa and (2) climate models forecasting plant distributions would benefit fromincluding the temperature sensitivity of key seed traits and population processes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 259, no 4, 809-817 p.
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Research subject
Plant Ecology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-33172DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2009.04.038ISI: 000275014400015OAI: diva2:282506
Conference on Adaptation of Forests and Forest Management to Changing Climate with Emphasis on Forest Health, Umea, SWEDEN, AUG 25-28, 2008
Available from: 2009-12-21 Created: 2009-12-21 Last updated: 2013-06-05Bibliographically approved

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Cousins, S A O
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Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary GeologyDepartment of Botany
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