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Population differentiation in timing of development in a forest herb associated with local climate and canopy closure
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Our knowledge of how plant seasonal development is related to local versus larger-scale environmental variation is limited. We investigated differentiation in the timing of vegetative and reproductive development among populations of the forest herb Lathyrus vernus over different spatial scales. We predicted earlier development and shorter development time for populations from a colder, northern region compared to populations from a warmer, southern region. Also, we predicted earlier and shorter development within regions to be associated with colder temperatures and higher proportions of deciduous trees at their sites of origin. Lastly, we predicted that earlier flowering is strongly correlated with earlier start of development. To examine these predictions, we conducted a common garden study, and compared the development of 10 northern and 10 southern Swedish L. vernus populations. Start of development, development time and start of flowering did not differ between populations from the two regions in contrast to our prediction. Within the southern region, start of flowering was earlier in populations from colder sites, while start of development was earlier with colder temperatures within the northern region. Start of flowering occurred earlier in southern populations from sites with higher proportion of deciduous trees. Thus, the prediction for the timing of development within regions was partly confirmed. However, vegetative and reproductive development was not simultaneously influenced by temperature and proportion of deciduous trees within regions, possibly due to the negative correlation between vegetative growth and development time. This implies that earlier start of development or shorter development time not necessarily correspond to earlier start of flowering or vice versa. Overall, the results suggest that smaller scale effects within region, such as temperature and interspecific competition for light, was more important for the timing of development than the larger scale gradients between regions. Lastly, the population differentiation across gradients of temperature and proportion of deciduous trees implies that populations may adapt to long-term changes in light or climatic conditions, and differ in their short-term response to climate change.

Keyword [en]
reproductive development, vegetative development, local climate, forest herb, phenology, range margins, distributions
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Plant Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-129485OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-129485DiVA: diva2:922554
Projects
EkoKlim
Available from: 2016-04-22 Created: 2016-04-22 Last updated: 2016-05-09Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. The role of microclimate for the performance and distribution of forest plants
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The role of microclimate for the performance and distribution of forest plants
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Microclimatic gradients may have large influence on individual vital rates and population growth rates of species, and limit their distributions. Therefore, I focused on the influence of microclimate on individual performance and distribution of species. Further, I examined differences in how microclimate affect species with contrasting distributions or different ecophysiological traits, and populations within species. More specifically, I investigated the performance of northern and southern distributed forest bryophytes that were transplanted across microclimatic gradients, and the timing of vegetative and reproductive development among northern, marginal and more southern populations of a forest herb in a common garden. Also, I compared the landscape and continental distributions across forest bryophytes and vascular plants and, thus, their distribution limiting factors at different spatial scales. Lastly, I examined the population dynamics across microclimatic gradients of transplants from northern and southern populations of a forest moss. The effects of microclimatic conditions on performance differed among bryophytes with contrasting distributions. There were no clear differences between northern and southern populations in the timing of development of a forest herb or in the population dynamics of a moss. However, within each region there was a differentiation of the forest herb populations, related to variation in local climatic conditions and in the south also to proportion of deciduous trees. The continental distributions of species were reflected in their landscape distributions and vice versa, in terms of their occurrence optima for climatic variables. The variation in landscape climatic optima was, however, larger than predicted, which limit the precision for predictions of microrefugia. Probably, the distributions of vascular plants were more affected by temperature than the distributions of bryophytes. Bryophytes are sensitive to moisture conditions, which was demonstrated by a correlation between evaporation and the population growth rate of a forest moss. We might be able to predict species’ landscape scale distributions by linking microclimatic conditions to their population growth rates, via their vital rates, and infer larger scale distribution patterns.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences, Stockholm University, 2016. 58 p.
Keyword
performance, microclimate, spatial scales, continental, landscape, distribution patterns, distribution limits, phenology, vegetative development, reproductive development, vital rates, population growth rate, vascular plants, bryophytes, distribution modelling
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Plant Ecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-129488 (URN)978-91-7649-423-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-06-10, Vivi Täckholmsalen (Q-salen) NPQ-huset, Svante Arrhenius väg 20, Stockholm, 09:30 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
EkoKlim
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Manuscript. Paper 3: Manuscript. Paper 4: Manuscript.

Available from: 2016-05-18 Created: 2016-04-22 Last updated: 2016-05-10Bibliographically approved

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Dahlberg, C. JohanFogelström, ElsaHylander, Kristoffer
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