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Population dynamics of moss transplants across microclimatic gradients
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]

In order to determine the response of a species to climatic change it is important to study how climatic factors influence its vital rates and population growth rate across climatic gradients. We investigated how microclimate influence the population dynamics of transplants from northern and more southern populations of the forest bryophyte Hylocomiastrum umbratum. We predicted that its population growth rate is favored by moist microclimates with colder maximum temperatures, longer snow cover duration and less evaporation, and that annual shoots (segments) will be shorter under drier conditions. We also predicted that northern populations will have higher population growth rate and larger segments than southern populations when transplanted to the northern range. We placed transplants from three northern and three southern populations of H. umbratum at 30 forested sites in central Sweden differing in microclimate. We marked and followed the growth of individual shoots during two years, and calculated population growth rates and stable stage distributions of segment size classes using transition matrix models for northern and southern transplants, respectively, at each locality. Population growth rate was lower and shorter segments developed at sites with higher evaporation, corresponding to our hypothesis. There were no significant difference in population growth rate and stable stage segment length between southern and northern populations. Higher evaporation during the summer result in lower population growth rates of H. umbratum by affecting vital rates, in terms of less segment growth. Both climate change and forestry may alter evaporation conditions across the landscape and, thus, the future distribution of the species.

Keyword [en]
population dynamics, vital rates, population growth rate, bryophytes, microclimate, evaporation, temperature, distributions, niche
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Plant Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-129487OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-129487DiVA: diva2:922559
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, JohanHylander, Kristoffer
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