Browsing by Subject "NICHES"

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  • Greiser, Caroline; Hylander, Kristoffer; Meineri, Eric; Luoto, Miska; Ehrlen, Johan (2020)
    The role of climate in determining range margins is often studied using species distribution models (SDMs), which are easily applied but have well-known limitations, e.g. due to their correlative nature and colonization and extinction time lags. Transplant experiments can give more direct information on environmental effects, but often cover small spatial and temporal scales. We simultaneously applied a SDM using high-resolution spatial predictors and an integral projection (demographic) model based on a transplant experiment at 58 sites to examine the effects of microclimate, light and soil conditions on the distribution and performance of a forest herb, Lathyrus vernus, at its cold range margin in central Sweden. In the SDM, occurrences were strongly associated with warmer climates. In contrast, only weak effects of climate were detected in the transplant experiment, whereas effects of soil conditions and light dominated. The higher contribution of climate in the SDM is likely a result from its correlation with soil quality, forest type and potentially historic land use, which were unaccounted for in the model. Predicted habitat suitability and population growth rate, yielded by the two approaches, were not correlated across the transplant sites. We argue that the ranking of site habitat suitability is probably more reliable in the transplant experiment than in the SDM because predictors in the former better describe understory conditions, but that ranking might vary among years, e.g. due to differences in climate. Our results suggest that L. vernus is limited by soil and light rather than directly by climate at its northern range edge, where conifers dominate forests and create suboptimal conditions of soil and canopy-penetrating light. A general implication of our study is that to better understand how climate change influences range dynamics, we should not only strive to improve existing approaches but also to use multiple approaches in concert.
  • Opedal, Øystein H.; Hegland, Stein Joar (2020)
    1. Pollinator-mediated reproductive interactions among co-flowering plant species are prime examples of how species interactions may affect fitness and community assembly. Despite considerable interest in these issues, statistical methods for assessing signal of reproductive interactions in observational data on co-flowering species are currently lacking. 2. We propose a flexible method for quantifying potential reproductive interactions among co-flowering plant species using the hierarchical latent-variable joint models implemented in the Hierarchical Modelling of Species Communities (HMSC) framework. The method accommodates any measure of reproductive success, including pollinator visitation, stigma pollen loads, and seed set. We demonstrate the method by analysing a dataset on bumblebee visitation to a set of co-flowering plant species in a species-rich meadow in Norway, and provide R tutorials for this and additional data types. 3. The example analysis revealed both positive and negative effects of heterospecific flower abundances on visitation to co-flowering species, which we interpret as potential reproductive interactions. 4. Synthesis. Hierarchical joint models provide a flexible approach to analysing patterns of covariation in the reproductive success of co-flowering species, thus identifying potential species interactions. Important strengths include explicit consideration of community-level effects and the assessment of residual fitness correlations after controlling for covariates such as flower abundances and phenotypic traits, yielding more complete insights into pollinator-mediated reproductive interactions.