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Plant landscape climatic optima correlate with their continental range optima
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]

Aim

Factors determining species’ distributions at smaller scales may inform us about larger scale distributions, and vice versa. We predicted that landscape and continental climatic optima for plants are positively correlated, and that species that have their optima outside a given focal landscape will cluster at the warmest or coldest landscape patches. Also, we predicted that the correlations of temperature optima are stronger for vascular plants than for bryophytes, since bryophytes may be regulated also by air moisture.

Location

Ångermanland, Sweden (landscape scale); Europe (continental scale).

Methods

We derived landscape optima from fine-grained temperature models (50 m) and species inventories, and continental optima from MaxEnt niche modelling based on GBIF occurrences and Worldclim temperatures (c. 1000 m), for 96 bryophytes and 50 vascular plants. Optima were derived for growing degree days, and maximum and minimum temperature.

Results

The landscape and continental optima of all species were positively correlated for growing degree days and maximum temperature (r = 0.19 and r = 0.44), but not for minimum temperature (r = -0.010). Species with their continental optima outside the focal landscape did not clearly cluster in the most extreme parts of the landscape. For vascular plants the correlation was positive for both growing degree days and maximum temperature (r = 0.50 and r = 0.64), but for bryophytes only for maximum temperature (r = 0.34).

Main conclusions

The optima correlations for maximum temperature and growing degree days indicate that we can infer large scale distribution patterns of plants from their local scale distributions, and suggest in which environments species occur if we only know their continental scale optima. The lack of clustering of southern and northern species limits the possibility for conservation actions targeting microrefugia. Lastly, the correlations indicate that the distributions of vascular plants were more influenced by temperature than bryophytes.

Keyword [en]
bryophytes, climatic optima, distribution, microclimate, landscape scale, continental scale, vascular plants
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Plant Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-129486OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-129486DiVA: diva2:922555
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. JohanEhrlén, JohanMeineri, Eric
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