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11.
  • Dahlgren, Johan Petter, 1978- (författare)
  • Linking plant population dynamics to the local environment and forest succession
  • 2008
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • Linking environmental variation to population dynamics is necessary to understand and predict how the environment influences species abundances and distributions. I used demographic, environmental and trait data of forest herbs to study effects of spatial variation in environmental factors on populations as well as environmental change in terms of effects of forest succession on field layer plants. The results show that abundances of field layer species during forest succession are correlated with their functional traits; species with high specific leaf area increased more in abundance. I also found that soil nutrients affect vegetative and flowering phenology of the forest herb Actaea spicata. The effect of nutrients shows that a wider range of environmental factors than usually assumed can influence plant phenology. Moreover, local environmental factors affected also the demography of A. spicata through effects on vital rates. An abiotic factor, soil potassium affecting individual growth rate, was more important for population growth rate than seed predation, the most conspicuous biotic interaction in this system. Density independent changes in soil potassium during forest succession, and to a lesser extent plant population size dependent seed predation, were predicted to alter population growth rate, and thereby the abundance, of A. spicata over time. Because these environmental factors had effects on population projections, they can potentially influence the occupancy pattern of this species along successional gradients. I conclude that including deterministic, as opposed to stochastic, environmental change in demographic models enables assessments of the effects of processes such as succession, altered land-use, and climate change on population dynamics. Models explicitly incorporating environmental factors are useful for studying population dynamics in a realistic context, and to guide management of threatened species in changing environments.
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12.
  • Dahlgren, Johan P., et al. (författare)
  • Local environment and density-dependent feedbacks determine population growth in a forest herb
  • 2014
  • Ingår i: Oecologia. - 0029-8549 .- 1432-1939. ; 176:4, s. 1023-1032
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Linking spatial variation in environmental factors to variation in demographic rates is essential for a mechanistic understanding of the dynamics of populations. However, we still know relatively little about such links, partly because feedbacks via intraspecific density make them difficult to observe in natural populations. We conducted a detailed field study and investigated simultaneous effects of environmental factors and the intraspecific density of individuals on the demography of the herb Lathyrus vernus. In regression models of vital rates we identified effects associated with spring shade on survival and growth, while density was negatively correlated with these vital rates. Density was also negatively correlated with average individual size in the study plots, which is consistent with self-thinning. In addition, average plant sizes were larger than predicted by density in plots that were less shaded by the tree canopy, indicating an environmentally determined carrying capacity. A size-structured integral projection model based on the vital rate regressions revealed that the identified effects of shade and density were strong enough to produce differences in stable population sizes similar to those observed in the field. The results illustrate how the local environment can determine dynamics of populations and that intraspecific density may have to be more carefully considered in studies of plant demography and population viability analyses of threatened species. We conclude that demographic approaches incorporating information about both density and key environmental factors are powerful tools for understanding the processes that interact to determine population dynamics and abundances.
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13.
  • Dahlgren, Johan P., et al. (författare)
  • Nonlinear relationships between vital rates and state variables in demographic models
  • 2011
  • Ingår i: Ecology. - 0012-9658 .- 1939-9170. ; 92:5, s. 1181-1187
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • To accurately estimate population dynamics and viability, structured population models account for among-individual differences in demographic parameters that are related to individual state. In the widely used matrix models, such differences are incorporated in terms of discrete state categories, whereas integral projection models (IPMs) use continuous state variables to avoid artificial classes. In IPMs, and sometimes also in matrix models, parameterization is based on regressions that do not always model nonlinear relationships between demographic parameters and state variables. We stress the importance of testing for nonlinearity and propose using restricted cubic splines in order to allow for a wide variety of relationships in regressions and demographic models. For the plant Borderea pyrenaica, we found that vital rate relationships with size and age were nonlinear and that the parameterization method had large effects on predicted population growth rates, lambda (linear IPM, 0.95; nonlinear IPMs, 1.00; matrix model, 0.96). Our results suggest that restricted cubic spline models are more reliable than linear or polynomial models. Because even weak nonlinearity in relationships between vital rates and state variables can have large effects on model predictions, we suggest that restricted cubic regression splines should be considered for parameterizing models of population dynamics whenever linearity cannot be assumed.
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14.
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15.
  • Dahlgren, Johan P., et al. (författare)
  • The demography of climate-driven and density-regulated population dynamics in a perennial plant
  • 2016
  • Ingår i: Ecology. - 0012-9658 .- 1939-9170. ; 97:4, s. 899-907
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Identifying the internal and external drivers of population dynamics is a key objective in ecology, currently accentuated by the need to forecast the effects of climate change on species distributions and abundances. The interplay between environmental and density effects is one particularly important aspect of such forecasts. We examined the simultaneous impact of climate and intraspecific density on vital rates of the dwarf shrub Fumana procumbens over 20 yr, using generalized additive mixed models. We then analyzed effects on population dynamics using integral projection models. The population projection models accurately captured observed fluctuations in population size. Our analyses suggested the population was intrinsically regulated but with annual fluctuations in response to variation in weather. Simulations showed that implicitly assuming variation in demographic rates to be driven solely by the environment can overestimate extinction risks if there is density dependence. We conclude that density regulation can dampen effects of climate change on Fumana population size, and discuss the need to quantify density dependence in predictions of population responses to environmental changes.
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16.
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17.
  • Ehrlen, Johan, et al. (författare)
  • Advancing environmentally explicit structured population models of plants
  • 2016
  • Ingår i: Journal of Ecology. - 0022-0477 .- 1365-2745. ; 104:2, s. 292-305
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • The relationship between the performance of individuals and the surrounding environment is fundamental in ecology and evolutionary biology. Assessing how abiotic and biotic environmental factors influence demographic processes is necessary to understand and predict population dynamics, as well as species distributions and abundances. We searched the literature for studies that have linked abiotic and biotic environmental factors to vital rates and, using structured demographic models, population growth rates of plants. We found 136 studies that had examined the environmental drivers of plant demography. The number of studies has been increasing rapidly in recent years. Based on the reviewed studies, we identify and discuss several major gaps in our knowledge of environmentally driven demography of plants. We argue that some drivers may have been underexplored and that the full potential of spatially and temporally replicated studies may not have been realized. We also stress the need to employ relevant statistical methods and experiments to correctly identify drivers. Moreover, assessments of the relationship between drivers and vital rates need to consider interactive, nonlinear and indirect effects, as well as effects of intraspecific density dependence.Synthesis. Much progress has already been made by using structured population models to link the performance of individuals to the surrounding environment. However, by improving the design and analyses of future studies, we can substantially increase our ability to predict changes in plant population dynamics, abundances and distributions in response to changes in specific environmental drivers. Future environmentally explicit demographic models should also address how genetic changes prompted by selection imposed by environmental changes will alter population trajectories in the face of continued environmental change and investigate the reciprocal feedback between plants and their biotic drivers.
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18.
  • Ehrlén, Johan, et al. (författare)
  • Flowering schedule in a perennial plant; life-history trade-offs, seed predation, and total offspring fitness
  • 2015
  • Ingår i: Ecology. - 0012-9658 .- 1939-9170. ; 96:8, s. 2280-2288
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Optimal timing of reproduction within a season may be influenced by several abiotic and biotic factors. These factors sometimes affect different components of fitness, making assessments of net selection difficult. We used estimates of offspring fitness to examine how pre-dispersal seed predation influences selection on flowering schedule in an herb with a bimodal flowering pattern, Actaea spicata. Within individuals, seeds from flowers on early terminal inflorescences had a higher germination rate and produced larger seedlings than seeds from flowers on late basal inflorescences. Reproductive value, estimated using demographic integral projection models and accounting for size-dependent differences in future performance, was two times higher for intact seeds from early flowers than for seeds from late flowers. Fruits from late flowers were, however, much more likely to escape seed predation than fruits from early flowers. Reproductive values of early and late flowers balanced at a predation intensity of 63%. Across 15 natural populations, the strength of selection for allocation to late flowers was positively correlated with mean seed predation intensity. Our results suggest that the optimal shape of the flowering schedule, in terms of the allocation between early and late flowers, is determined by the trade-off between offspring number and quality, and that variation in antagonistic interactions among populations influences the balancing of this trade-off. At the same time they illustrate that phenotypic selection analyses that fail to account for differences in offspring fitness might be misleading.
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19.
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20.
  • Fogelström, Elsa, et al. (författare)
  • Plant-herbivore synchrony and selection on plant flowering phenology
  • 2017
  • Ingår i: Ecology. - 0012-9658 .- 1939-9170. ; 98:3, s. 703-711
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Temporal variation in natural selection has profound effects on the evolutionary trajectories of populations. One potential source of variation in selection is that differences in thermal reaction norms and temperature influence the relative phenology of interacting species. We manipulated the phenology of the butterfly herbivore Anthocharis cardamines relative to genetically identical populations of its host plant, Cardamine pratensis, and examined the effects on butterfly preferences and selection acting on the host plant. We found that butterflies preferred plants at an intermediate flowering stage, regardless of the timing of butterfly flight relative to flowering onset of the population. Consequently, the probability that plant genotypes differing in timing of flowering should experience a butterfly attack depended strongly on relative phenology. These results suggest that differences in spring temperature influence the direction of herbivore-mediated selection on flowering phenology, and that climatic conditions can influence natural selection also when phenotypic preferences remain constant.
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