Article: article from journal or magazin.
Predicting future distributions of mountain plants under climate change: does dispersal capacity matter?
Many studies have investigated the impacts that climate change could potentially have on the distribution of plant species, but few have attempted to constrain projections through plant dispersal limitations. Instead, most studies published so far have been using the simplification of considering dispersal as either unlimited or null. However, depending on a species' dispersal capacity, landscape fragmentation, and the rate of climatic change, these assumptions can lead to serious over- or underestimation of a species' future distribution. To quantify the discrepancies between unlimited, realistic, and no dispersal scenarios, we carried out projections of future distribution over the 21st century for 287 mountain plant species in a study area of the Western Swiss Alps. For each species, simulations were run for four dispersal scenarios (unlimited dispersal, no dispersal, realistic dispersal and realistic dispersal with long-distance dispersal events) and under four climate change scenarios. Although simulations accounting for realistic dispersal limitations did significantly differ from those considering dispersal as unlimited or null in terms of projected future distribution, using the unlimited dispersal simplification nevertheless provided good approximations for species extinctions under more moderate climate change scenarios. Overall, simulations accounting for dispersal limitations produced, for our mountainous study area, results that were significantly closer to unlimited dispersal than to no dispersal. Finally, analyzing the temporal pattern of species extinctions over the entire 21st century showed that, due to the possibility of a large number of species shifting their distribution to higher elevation, important species extinctions for our study area might not occur before the 2080-2100 time periods.
species distribution model, Generalized Linear Model, cellular automaton, plant species, seed dispersal, Western Swiss Alps, climate change
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