Plant Species Migration as a Key Uncertainty in Predicting Future Impacts of Climate Change on Ecosystems: Progress and Challenges
11.5 Summary and Conclusions
As we show above, a failure to incorporate migration limitations into models of vegetation response to climate change greatly compromises their predictive capability, and the uncertainty due to migration is therefore substantial. Species range shifts have been a ubiquitous response by plant species during Pleistocene climate change, and early signs of this response are evident in modern assemblages. Recent work has increased our understanding of the dispersal limitations to migration rate, but there has been far less focus on the issues which govern population establishment and growth rate, especially at the edge of species’ ranges.
An overall understanding of community responses to climate change would also benefit from better understanding of in situ adaptive responses, as these appear to be significant in some species. Much has been learned from reconstructions of past migration patterns in the paleo-record, and from studies of alien invasive plants, but these “natural experiments” are limited in that they represent special cases where species migration occurs over landscapes unfragmented by human activities (paleo- record), or are experiencing release from predators and pathogens (alien species).
Finally, promising approaches are being developed that address the issue of how human transformation of landscapes will modify migration rates, and that combine mechanistic migration models with spatially explicit models of species geographic ranges at spatial scales relevant to simulating plant propagule dispersal and demographic behavior. These approaches will provide useful insights into biodiversity change under climate and landuse change scenarios. However, the potential increase in spatial resolution of DGVM simulations, and their increasing capacity to simulate more finely defined plant functional types, will allow them to provide an independent alternative assessment of the role of migration in determining the future structure and function of the ecosystems of the Earth.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Birks HJB (1986) Late-Quaternary biotic changes in terrestrial and lacustrine environments, with particular reference to north-west Europe. In: Berglund BE (ed) Handbook of Holocene Paleoecology and Paleohydrology. Wiley, ChichesterGoogle Scholar
- Bond WJ, Midgley JJ (2001) Ecology of sprouting in woody plants: the persistence niche. TREE 16:45–51Google Scholar
- Clark JS, Lewis M, McLachlan JS, HilleRisLambers J (2003) Estimating population spread: What can we forecast and how well? Ecology 84:1979–1988Google Scholar
- Davis MB (1976) Pleistocene biogeography of temperate deciduous forests. Geoscience and Man 13:13–26Google Scholar
- Davis MB (1983) Holocene vegetational history of the eastern United States. In: Wright HE (ed) Late-Quaternary environments of the United States. University of Minneapolis, Minneapolis, MN, USAGoogle Scholar
- Franco M, Silvertown J (2004) A comparative demography of plants based upon elasticities of vital rates. Ecology 85:531–538Google Scholar
- Graham RW (1992) Late pleistocene faunal changes as a guide to understanding effects of greenhous warming on the mammalian fauna of North America. In: Peters RL, Lovejoy T (eds) Global warming and biological diversity. Yale University, New Haven and LondonGoogle Scholar
- Higgins SI, Nathan R, Cain ML (2003) Are long-distance dispersal events in plants usually caused by nonstandard means of dispersal? Ecology 84(8):1945–1956Google Scholar
- Hobbs RJ (2000) Land-use changes and invasions. In: Mooney HA, Hobbs HA (eds) The impact of global change on alien species. Island Press, Washington D.CGoogle Scholar
- Hodkinson DJ, Thompson K (1997) Plant dispersal: the role of man. Journal of Applied Ecology 34:1481–1496Google Scholar
- Hoffman MH (2001) The distribution of Senecio vulgaris: capacity of climate change models for predicting adventitious ranges. Flora 196:395–403Google Scholar
- Hughes L (2000) Biological consequences of global warming: is the signal already apparent? TREE 15:56–61Google Scholar
- Huntley B, Birks HJB (1983) An atlas of past and present pollen maps for Europe o-13000 years ago. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
- Huntley B, Webb TI (1988) Vegetation history. Kluwer, DordrechtGoogle Scholar
- Mooney HA, Hobbs RJ (2000) Invasive species in a changing world. Island Press, Washington, D.C, CaliforniaGoogle Scholar
- Nakicenovic N, Swart R (eds) (2000) Emissions Scenarios: A Special Report of Working Group III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
- Pitelka LF, et al. (1997) Plant migration and climate change. American Scientist 85:464–501Google Scholar
- Rejmanek M, Richardon DM, Higgins SI, Pitcairn MJ, Grotkopp E (2004) Ecology of invasive plants: state of the art. In: Mooney HA, McNeely JA, Neville L, Schei PJ, Waage J (eds) Invasive alien species: searching for solutions, Island, Washington, D.CGoogle Scholar
- Richardson DM, et al. (2000) Invasive alien organisms and global change: A South African Perspective. In: Mooney HA, Hobbs HA (eds) The impact of global change on alien species. Island Press, Washington D.CGoogle Scholar
- Ridley HN (1930) The dispersal of plants throughout the world. Reeve, Ashford, UKGoogle Scholar
- Shugart HH, Smith TM, Post WM (1992) The application of individual-based simulation models for assessing the effects of global change. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 23:15–38Google Scholar
- Skellam JG (1951) Random dispersal in theoretical populations. Biometrika 38:196–218Google Scholar
- Smith TM, Shugart HH, Woodward FI (1997) Plant Functional Types, Their Relevance to Ecosystem Properties and Global Change. Cambridge Univ. Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
- van Rheede van Oudtshoorn K, van Rooyen MW (1999) Dispersal biology of desert plants. Springer-Verlag, BerlinGoogle Scholar
- Walther G-R, Burga CA, Edwards PJ (2001) Fingerprints of climate change — adapted behaviour and shifting species ranges. Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Webb TI (1992) Past changes in vegetation and climate: lessons for the future. In: Peters RL, Lovejoy TE (eds) Global warming and biological diversity. Yale University, New Haven and LondonGoogle Scholar