Article: article from journal or magazin.
The contribution of cold air pooling to the distribution of a rare and endemic plant of the Alps
Plant Ecology and Diversity
Background: The topographic complexity typical of alpine landscapes creates a variety of (micro)climatic conditions that may mitigate the effects of a warming climate on alpine plants via such mechanisms as cold air pooling (CAP).Aims: Our primary objectives were to (1) assess whether landscape potential for CAP as a predictor improved species distribution models (SDMs) projections and (2) quantify the impact of CAP on the microclimate experienced by alpine plants compared to the macroclimate.Methods: We selected the Maritime Alps as our study area, located on the French-Italian border, and its rare endemic plant, Saxifraga florulenta, as model taxon. We generated a spatial layer in GIS (Geographic Information System) that reflected the potential of the landscape for CAP and ran five SDM algorithms with and without CAP layer as a predictor. Second, we recorded the microclimate plants experience with temperature loggers.Results:CAP as a predictor decreased the omission error of SDMs, mostly at low and mid elevations, where topography may buffer extreme temperatures, resulting in a more stable microclimate compared to macroclimate.Conclusions: We have shown that plants in an alpine landscape may be less exposed to climate warming than predicted by macroclimate. Topo-climatic GIS layers for SDM projections in mountain environments should integrate such physical mechanisms as CAP.
climate change, climate projections, macroclimate, microclimate, mountain terrain, persistence, temperature inversions, topography
Web of science
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