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Puerto Serrano, Spain

Lazaro-Nogal A.,LINCGlobal | Forner A.,LINCGlobal | Traveset A.,CSIC - Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies | Valladares F.,LINCGlobal | Valladares F.,Rey Juan Carlos University
Tree Physiology | Year: 2013

Plants have evolved different strategies to cope with drought, involving alternative ecophysiologies and different levels of plasticity. These strategies are critical for species of limited distribution, which are especially vulnerable to the current rates of rapid environmental change. The aim of this study was to assess the water strategy of two species with limited distribution, Cneorum tricoccon L. and Rhamnus ludovici-salvatoris Chodat., and evaluate their interpopulation variability along an aridity gradient to estimate their vulnerability to a drier climate. We measured different ecophysiological traits influenced by drought - stomatal conductance, maximum photochemical efficiency of photosynthesis II, carbon isotope ratio and chlorophyll concentration - in two climatically contrasting years, before and during summer drought. Both species were vulnerable to drought at the aridity limit of the gradient, but showed contrasting water strategies: while C. tricoccon was consistent in its water conservation strategy across the aridity gradient, R. ludovici-salvatoris was not, displaying higher and more variable stomatal conductances and being able to increase water-use efficiency at the most xeric sites. Changes in length and intensity of drought events may favor one species' strategy to the detriment of the other: C. tricoccon is more vulnerable to chronic and prolonged droughts, whereas short but acute droughts might have a stronger effect on R. ludovici-salvatoris. In those communities where these two species coexist, such different strategies might lead to changes in community structure under climate change scenarios, with unknown cascade effects on ecosystem functioning. © 2013 The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com. Source

Valladares F.,LINCGlobal | Valladares F.,Rey Juan Carlos University | Matesanz S.,Rey Juan Carlos University | Guilhaumon F.,University of Evora | And 17 more authors.
Ecology Letters | Year: 2014

Species are the unit of analysis in many global change and conservation biology studies; however, species are not uniform entities but are composed of different, sometimes locally adapted, populations differing in plasticity. We examined how intraspecific variation in thermal niches and phenotypic plasticity will affect species distributions in a warming climate. We first developed a conceptual model linking plasticity and niche breadth, providing five alternative intraspecific scenarios that are consistent with existing literature. Secondly, we used ecological niche-modeling techniques to quantify the impact of each intraspecific scenario on the distribution of a virtual species across a geographically realistic setting. Finally, we performed an analogous modeling exercise using real data on the climatic niches of different tree provenances. We show that when population differentiation is accounted for and dispersal is restricted, forecasts of species range shifts under climate change are even more pessimistic than those using the conventional assumption of homogeneously high plasticity across a species' range. Suitable population-level data are not available for most species so identifying general patterns of population differentiation could fill this gap. However, the literature review revealed contrasting patterns among species, urging greater levels of integration among empirical, modeling and theoretical research on intraspecific phenotypic variation. © 2014 The Authors. Source

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