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  • Burns, Jean H., et al. (författare)
  • Empirical tests of life-history evolution theory using phylogenetic analysis of plant demography
  • 2010
  • Ingår i: Journal of Ecology. - : Wiley. - 0022-0477 .- 1365-2745. ; 98:2, s. 334-344
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • 1. A primary goal of evolutionary ecology is to understand factors selecting for the diversity of life histories. Life-history components, such as time-to-reproduction, adult survivorship and fecundity, might differ among species because of variation in direct and indirect benefits of these life histories in different environments or might have lower-than-expected variability because of phylogenetic constraints. Here, we present a phylogenetic examination of demography and life histories using a data base of 204 terrestrial plant species. 2. Overall, statistical models without phylogeny were preferred to models with phylogeny for vital rates and elasticities, suggesting that they lacked phylogenetic signal and are evolutionarily labile. However, the effect of phylogeny was significant in models including sensitivities, suggesting that sensitivities exhibit greater phylogenetic signal than vital rates or elasticities. 3. Species with a greater age at first reproduction had lower fecundity, consistent with a cost of delayed reproduction, but only in some habitats (e.g. grassland). We found no evidence for an indirect benefit of delayed reproduction via a decrease in variation in fecundity with age to first reproduction. 4. The greater sensitivity and lower variation in survival than in fecundity was consistent with buffering of more important vital rates, as others have also found. This suggests that studies of life-history evolution should include survival, rather than only fecundity, for the majority of species. 5. Synthesis. Demographic matrix models can provide informative tests of life-history theory because of their shared construction and outputs and their widespread use among plant ecologists. Our comparative analysis suggested that there is a cost of delayed reproduction and that more important vital rates exhibit lower variability. The absolute importance of vital rates to population growth rates (sensitivities) exhibited phylogenetic signal, suggesting that a thorough understanding of life-history evolution might require an understanding of the importance of vital rates, not just their means, and the role of phylogenetic history.
  • Christiansen, Ditte Marie, et al. (författare)
  • Changes in forest structure drive temperature preferences of boreal understorey plant communities
  • 2022
  • Ingår i: Journal of Ecology. - : Wiley. - 0022-0477 .- 1365-2745. ; 110:3, s. 631-643
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • The local climate in forest understories can deviate substantially from ambient conditions. Moreover, forest microclimates are often characterized by cyclic changes driven by management activities such as clear-cutting and subsequent planting. To understand how and why understorey plant communities change, both ambient climate change and temporal variation in forest structure have to be considered.We used inventories from 11,436 productive forest sites in Sweden repeated every 10th year 1993–2017 to examine how variation in forest structure influences changes in the average value of minimum and maximum temperature preferences of all species in a community, that is, community temperature indices (CTIs). We then evaluated to what extent these changes were driven by local extinctions and colonizations, respectively, and to what extent the difference in CTI value between two inventories was related to changes in forest density and in macroclimate. Lastly, we tested whether effects on CTI change by these two drivers were modified by topography, soil moisture and tree species composition.CTI values of the understorey plant communities increased after clear-cutting, and decreased during periods when the forest grew denser. During the period immediately after clear-cutting, changes were predominately driven by colonizations of species with a preference for higher temperatures. During the forest regeneration phase, both colonizations by species preferring lower temperatures and local extinctions of species preferring higher temperatures increased. The change in understorey CTI over 10-year periods was explained more by changes in forest density, than by changes in macroclimate. Soil moisture, topography and forest tree species composition modified to some extent the effects of changes in forest density and in macroclimate on understorey CTI values.Synthesis. Via stand manipulation, forest management impacts the effects of regional climate on understorey plant communities. This implies that forest management by creating denser stands locally even can counterbalance the effects of regional changes in climate. Consequently, interpretations of changes in the mean temperature preference of species in forest understorey communities should take forest management regimes into account.
  • Christiansen, Ditte Marie, 1990-, et al. (författare)
  • Effects of past and present microclimates on northern and southern plant species in a managed forest landscape
  • 2023
  • Ingår i: Journal of Vegetation Science. - 1100-9233 .- 1654-1103. ; 34:4
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Questions: Near-ground temperatures can vary substantially over relatively short distances, enabling species with different temperature preferences and geographical distributions to co-exist within a small area. In a forest landscape, the near-ground temperatures may change due to management activities that alter forest density. As a result of such management activities, current species distributions and performances might not only be affected by current microclimates, but also by past conditions due to time-lagged responses.Location: Sweden.Methods: We examined the effects of past and current microclimates on the distributions and performances of two northern, cold-favoured, and two southern, warm-favoured, plant species in 53 managed forest sites. Each pair was represented by one vascular plant and one bryophyte species. We used temperature logger data and predictions from microclimate models based on changes in basal area to relate patterns of occurrence, abundance, and reproduction to current and past microclimate.Results: The two northern species were generally favoured by microclimates that were currently cold, characterised by later snowmelt and low accumulated heat over the growing season. In contrast, the two southern species were generally favoured by currently warm microclimates, characterised by high accumulated heat over the growing season. Species generally had higher abundance in sites with a preferred microclimate both in the past and present, and lower abundance than expected from current conditions, if the past microclimate had changed from warm to cold or vice versa, indicating time-lags in abundance patterns of the species.Conclusions: Our results show a potential importance of past and present microclimate heterogeneity for the co-existence of species with different temperature preferences in the same landscape and highlight the possibility to manage microclimates to mitigate climate change impacts on forest biodiversity.
  • Christiansen, Ditte Marie, 1990- (författare)
  • Responses of boreal forest understory plant communities to climate and forestry
  • 2022
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt/konstnärligt)abstract
    • A warming climate is altering species distributions and community compositions. To understand and predict changes in species distributions to climate change, we often use species occurrences together with large-scale regional climate data. This can be problematic for several reasons. Species living near the ground experience small-scale spatial variation in temperatures, i.e., microclimate, that are influenced by topography and vegetation and can therefore deviate a lot from regional temperatures. Further, climate often affects species indirectly via species interactions, and such interactions can also change with climate. And last, species may respond slower than climate changes. Ignoring these aspects can complicate our understanding of species-climate relationships.In this thesis, I examined how microclimate and changes in microclimate due to forest management impact performances, interactions, and distributions of plant species in boreal forest understory communities. First, I quantified the importance of microclimate for species performances and distributions. Specifically, I compared the effects of spring temperatures measured on local and regional scales on the population dynamics of a southern forest herb (I). I also tested how small-scale spatial microclimate variation contributed to the regional co-existence of northern and southern understory plant species (II). Second, I examined the role of species interactions in driving abundance patterns of two moss species with different temperature niches across their Swedish ranges by transplanting them separately and together across a climate gradient (III). Lastly, I investigated how understory plant communities respond to changes in microclimate caused by forest management (IV), and how past microclimates influence current patterns of species occurrence, abundance, and reproduction (II).I found that local spring temperatures had a significant effect on the population dynamics of the southern forest herb that could not be detected using regional spring temperatures (I). Spatial variation in microclimate explained the regional co-existence of two northern and two southern species, where the northern species were favoured by cold microclimates and the southern species by warm microclimates (II). In the transplant experiment (III), I found that climate-mediated competition can override the direct effects of climate and limit abundances across ranges. Lastly, I found that microclimate changes caused by forest management activities had a large effect on understory communities (IV), and that current abundances of northern and southern species were partly explained by past microclimate (II).Overall, I demonstrated that, to understand how species (particularly understory plants) respond to climate, we need to replace the standard use of regional climate data with locally measured climate data or down-scaled gridded climate data that account for variation in topography as well as vegetation. To predict how species will respond to climate change, we also need to include species interactions and how these interactions change with a changing climate. Finally, changes in microclimate following changes in forest structure have large effects on understory species. The last finding is important to consider when studying changes in understory communities in a climate context and could be used to mitigate climate effects on forest biodiversity.
  • Crone, Elizabeth E., et al. (författare)
  • Ability of Matrix Models to Explain the Past and Predict the Future of Plant Populations
  • 2013
  • Ingår i: Conservation Biology. - : Wiley. - 0888-8892 .- 1523-1739. ; 27:5, s. 968-978
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Uncertainty associated with ecological forecasts has long been recognized, but forecast accuracy is rarely quantified. We evaluated how well data on 82 populations of 20 species of plants spanning 3 continents explained and predicted plant population dynamics. We parameterized stage-based matrix models with demographic data from individually marked plants and determined how well these models forecast population sizes observed at least 5 years into the future. Simple demographic models forecasted population dynamics poorly; only 40% of observed population sizes fell within our forecasts' 95% confidence limits. However, these models explained population dynamics during the years in which data were collected; observed changes in population size during the data-collection period were strongly positively correlated with population growth rate. Thus, these models are at least a sound way to quantify population status. Poor forecasts were not associated with the number of individual plants or years of data. We tested whether vital rates were density dependent and found both positive and negative density dependence. However, density dependence was not associated with forecast error. Forecast error was significantly associated with environmental differences between the data collection and forecast periods. To forecast population fates, more detailed models, such as those that project how environments are likely to change and how these changes will affect population dynamics, may be needed. Such detailed models are not always feasible. Thus, it may be wiser to make risk-averse decisions than to expect precise forecasts from models. Habilidad de los Modelos Matriciales para Explicar el Pasado y Predecir el Futuro de las Poblaciones de Plantas Resumen La incertidumbre asociada con el pronostico ecologico ha sido reconocida durante un largo tiempo pero rara vez se cuantifica su seguridad. Evaluamos que tan bien la informacion de 82 poblaciones de 20 especies de plantas a lo largo de 3 continentes explica y predice la dinamica de poblacion de las plantas. Realizamos parametros con modelos matriciales con base en estadios con datos demograficos a partir de plantas marcadas individualmente y determinamos que tan bien estos modelos pronostican el tamano de las poblaciones al menos 5 anos en el futuro. Los modelos demograficos simples pronosticaron pobremente las dinamicas de poblacion; solamente el 40% de las poblaciones observadas cayo dentro de los limites de confianza de 85% de nuestros pronosticos. Estos modelos sin embargo explicaron la dinamica de poblacion a lo largo de los anos en los que se colectaron datos; los cambios observados en el tamano de la poblacion durante el periodo de colecta de datos estuvieron positivamente correlacionados con la tasa de crecimiento de la poblacion. Asi, estos modelos son por lo menos una manera segura de cuantificar el estado de la poblacion. Los pronosticos debiles no estuvieron asociados con el numero de plantas individuales o con los anos de datos. Probamos si las tasas vitales dependian de la densidad y encontramos que existe dependencia hacia la densidad tanto positiva como negativa, sin embargo la dependencia de densidad no se asocio con el error de pronostico. El error de pronostico estuvo significativamente asociado con diferencias ambientales entre la recoleccion de datos y los periodos de pronostico. Para predecir el destino de las poblaciones se necesitan modelos mas detallados, como aquellos que proyectan los cambios probables en el ambiente y como estos cambios afectaran a la dinamica de las poblaciones. Tales modelos tan detallados no siempre son factibles. Por ello puede ser mejor tomar decisiones aversas a riesgos que esperar pronosticos precisos de los modelos.
  • Crone, Elizabeth E., et al. (författare)
  • How do plant ecologists use matrix population models?
  • 2011
  • Ingår i: Ecology Letters. - : Wiley. - 1461-023X .- 1461-0248. ; 14:1, s. 1-8
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • P>Matrix projection models are among the most widely used tools in plant ecology. However, the way in which plant ecologists use and interpret these models differs from the way in which they are presented in the broader academic literature. In contrast to calls from earlier reviews, most studies of plant populations are based on < 5 matrices and present simple metrics such as deterministic population growth rates. However, plant ecologists also cautioned against literal interpretation of model predictions. Although academic studies have emphasized testing quantitative model predictions, such forecasts are not the way in which plant ecologists find matrix models to be most useful. Improving forecasting ability would necessitate increased model complexity and longer studies. Therefore, in addition to longer term studies with better links to environmental drivers, priorities for research include critically evaluating relative/comparative uses of matrix models and asking how we can use many short-term studies to understand long-term population dynamics.
  • de Kroon, Hans, et al. (författare)
  • Elasticities : a review of methods and model limitations
  • 2000
  • Ingår i: Ecology. - 0012-9658 .- 1939-9170. ; 81:3, s. 607-618
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Elasticity is a perturbation measure in matrix projection models that quantifiesthe proportional change in population growth rate as a function of a proportionalchange in a demographic transition (growth, survival, reproduction, etc.). Elasticities thusindicate the relative "importance" of life cycle transitions for population growth and maintenance.In this paper, we discuss the applications of elasticity analysis, and its extension,loop analysis, in life history studies and conservation. Elasticity can be interpreted as therelative contribution of a demographic parameter to population growth rate. Loop analysisreveals the underlying pathway structure of the life cycle graph. The different kinds ofresults of the two analyses in studies of life histories are emphasized. Because elasticitiesquantify the relative importance of life cycle transitions to population growth rate, it isgenerally inferred that management should focus on the transitions with the largest elasticities.Such predictions based on elasticities seem robust, but we do identify three situationswhere problems may arise. The mathematical properties and biological constraints thatunderlie these pitfalls are explained. Examples illustrate the additional information thatneeds to be taken into account for a sensible use of elasticities in population management.We conclude by indicating topics that are in need of research.
  • Ehrlén, Johan, et al. (författare)
  • Climate drives among-year variation in natural selection on flowering time
  • 2020
  • Ingår i: Ecology Letters. - : Wiley. - 1461-023X .- 1461-0248. ; 23:4, s. 653-662
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • To predict long-term responses to climate change, we need to understand how changes in temperature and precipitation elicit both immediate phenotypic responses and changes in natural selection. We used 22 years of data for the perennial herb Lathyrus vernus to examine how climate influences flowering phenology and phenotypic selection on phenology. Plants flowered earlier in springs with higher temperatures and higher precipitation. Early flowering was associated with a higher fitness in nearly all years, but selection for early flowering was significantly stronger in springs with higher temperatures and lower precipitation. Climate influenced selection through trait distributions, mean fitness and trait-fitness relationships, the latter accounting for most of the among-year variation in selection. Our results show that climate both induces phenotypic responses and alters natural selection, and that the change in the optimal phenotype might be either weaker, as for spring temperature, or stronger, as for precipitation, than the optimal response.
  • Ehrlén, Johan, et al. (författare)
  • Dispersal limitation and patch occupancy in forest herbs
  • 2000
  • Ingår i: Ecology. - 0012-9658 .- 1939-9170. ; 81, s. 1667-1674
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • The distribution of species depends on the availability of suitable habitats, the capacity to disperse to these habitats, and the capacity of populations to persist after establishment. Dispersal limitation implies that not all suitable habitat patches will be occupied by a species. However, the extent to which dispersal limits local distribution is poorly known. In this study, we transplanted seeds, bulbils, and juvenile plants to examine patterns of dispersal limitation and patch occupancy in seven temperate-forest herbs. Recruitment was recorded during four years in 48 patches. The investigated species varied considerably in their natural abundance in the patches. Patterns of seedling emergence and establishment among patches were not related to any of nine investigated abiotic factors. In contrast, the availability of seeds or bulbils was found to limit recruitment in six of the investigated species. Establishment was also successful in many patches where the species did not occur naturally. Estimated patch occupancy in the investigated species ranged from 17.2% to 94.6%. Seed size was positively correlated with the probability of successful establishment of seeds and negatively correlated with patch occupancy. The results suggest that dispersal limitation is an important structuring factor in temperate-forest herb communities. The distribution of species can be perceived as the result of processes operating both among and within patches. Seed size is a key trait in these processes.
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