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Journal Articles Global Ecology and Biogeography Year : 2015

Disjunct populations of European vascular plant species keep the same climatic niches

1 EDYSAN - Ecologie et Dynamique des Systèmes Anthropisés - UMR CNRS 7058
2 NINA - Norwegian Institute for Nature Research
3 National Centre for Biosystematics [Oslo]
4 University of Portsmouth
5 UAF - University of Alaska [Fairbanks]
6 NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology [Trondheim]
7 UiB - University of Bergen
8 UiT - The Arctic University of Norway [Tromsø, Norway]
9 Department of Ecology & Evolution
10 Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre
11 ITU - IT University of Copenhagen
12 Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences [Stockholm]
13 University of Bremen
14 University of Vienna [Vienna]
15 Department of Ecology and Environmental Science [Umeå]
16 Aarhus University [Aarhus]
17 LERFoB - Laboratoire d'Etudes des Ressources Forêt-Bois
18 Norwegian Univ Sci & Technol, N-7491 Trondheim, Norway
19 Laboratoire de Biologie de la Conservation (LBC)
20 Stockholm University
21 University of Iceland [Reykjavik]
22 NIBIO - Norsk institutt for bioøkonomi=Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research
23 NMBU - Norwegian University of Life Sciences
24 Helsingin yliopisto = Helsingfors universitet = University of Helsinki
25 Umeå University
26 University of Tartu
27 Telemark University College
28 Norwegian Polar Institute
29 UIA - University of Agder
30 LECA - Laboratoire d'Ecologie Alpine
31 Nesna University College
32 Bioforsk - Norwegian Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Research
33 Dept Biol
34 Département d'écologie et évolution
35 VINCA - Vienna Institute for Nature Conservation and Analyses
36 Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL
37 ETH Zürich - Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule - Swiss Federal Institute of Technology [Zürich]
38 Institute of Botany and Ecology
Hans Henrik Bruun
Martin Diekmann
Kristoffer Hylander
Ann Milbau
Mari Moora
  • Function : Author
Jens-Christian Svenning
Wilfried Thuiller
Vigdis Vandvik
Risto Virtanen
Pascal Vittoz
  • Function : Author
  • PersonId : 868006
Martin Zobel


Aim Previous research on how climatic niches vary across species ranges has focused on a limited number of species, mostly invasive, and has not, to date, been very conclusive. Here we assess the degree of niche conservatism between distant populations of native alpine plant species that have been separated for thousands of years. Location European Alps and Fennoscandia. Methods Of the studied pool of 888 terrestrial vascular plant species occurring in both the Alps and Fennoscandia, we used two complementary approaches to test and quantify climatic-niche shifts for 31 species having strictly disjunct populations and 358 species having either a contiguous or a patchy distribution with distant populations. First, we used species distribution modelling to test for a region effect on each species' climatic niche. Second, we quantified niche overlap and shifts in niche width (i.e. ecological amplitude) and position (i.e. ecological optimum) within a bi-dimensional climatic space. Results Only one species (3%) of the 31 species with strictly disjunct populations and 58 species (16%) of the 358 species with distant populations showed a region effect on their climatic niche. Niche overlap was higher for species with strictly disjunct populations than for species with distant populations and highest for arctic-alpine species. Climatic niches were, on average, wider and located towards warmer and wetter conditions in the Alps. Main conclusion Climatic niches seem to be generally conserved between populations that are separated between the Alps and Fennoscandia and have probably been so for 10,000-15,000 years. Therefore, the basic assumption of species distribution models that a species' climatic niche is constant in space and time-at least on time scales 104 years or less-seems to be largely valid for arctic-alpine plants.
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Dates and versions

hal-01599162 , version 1 (17-01-2024)



Safaa Wasof, Jonathan Roger Michel Henri Lenoir, Per Arild Aarrestad, Inger Greve Alsos, W. Scott Armbruster, et al.. Disjunct populations of European vascular plant species keep the same climatic niches. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 2015, 24 (12), pp.1401 - 1412. ⟨10.1111/geb.12375⟩. ⟨hal-01599162⟩
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