May 6, 2017

A dynamic eco-evolutionary model predicts slow response of alpine plants to climate warming

Nature Communications
Olivier CottoFrédéric Guillaume

Abstract

Withstanding extinction while facing rapid climate change depends on a species' ability to track its ecological niche or to evolve a new one. Current methods that predict climate-driven species' range shifts use ecological modelling without eco-evolutionary dynamics. Here we present an eco-evolutionary forecasting framework that combines niche modelling with individual-based demographic and genetic simulations. Applying our approach to four endemic perennial plant species of the Austrian Alps, we show that accounting for eco-evolutionary dynamics when predicting species' responses to climate change is crucial. Perennial species persist in unsuitable habitats longer than predicted by niche modelling, causing delayed range losses; however, their evolutionary responses are constrained because long-lived adults produce increasingly maladapted offspring. Decreasing population size due to maladaptation occurs faster than the contraction of the species range, especially for the most abundant species. Monitoring of species' local abundance rather than their range may likely better inform on species' extinction risks under climate change.

  • References2
  • Citations10

References

  • References2
  • Citations10

Citations

Mentioned in this Paper

In Silico
Autoimmune Lymphoproliferative Syndrome
Projections and Predictions
Rosa pendulina
Contraction (Finding)
Theoretical Study
Monitoring - Action
Simulation
Species
Climate Change

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