Central and rear-edge populations can be equally vulnerable to warming.
ABSTRACT: Rear (warm) edge populations are often considered more susceptible to warming than central (cool) populations because of the warmer ambient temperatures they experience, but this overlooks the potential for local variation in thermal tolerances. Here we provide conceptual models illustrating how sensitivity to warming is affected throughout a species' geographical range for locally adapted and non-adapted populations. We test these models for a range-contracting seaweed using observations from a marine heatwave and a 12-month experiment, translocating seaweeds among central, present and historic range edge locations. Growth, reproductive development and survivorship display different temperature thresholds among central and rear-edge populations, but share a 2.5?°C anomaly threshold. Range contraction, therefore, reflects variation in local anomalies rather than differences in absolute temperatures. This demonstrates that warming sensitivity can be similar throughout a species geographical range and highlights the importance of incorporating local adaptation and acclimatization into climate change vulnerability assessments.
Project description:Population genetics and phenotypic structures are often predicted to vary along the geographic range of a species. This phenomenon would be accentuated for species with large range areas, with discontinuities and marginal populations. We herein compare the genetic patterns of central populations of Coccinella septempunctata L. with those of two phenotypically differentiated populations considered as rear-edge populations and subspecies based on phenotype (Algeria and Japan). According to the central-marginal model and expected characteristics of rear-edge populations, we hypothesize that these rear-edge populations have (1) a reduced genetic diversity, resulting from their relative isolation over long periods of time, (2) a higher population genetic differentiation, explained by low contemporary gene flow levels, and (3) a relationship between genetic diversity characteristics and phenotypes, due to historical isolation and/or local adaptation. Based on genotyping of 28 populations for 18 microsatellite markers, several levels of regional genetic diversity and differentiation are observed between and within populations, according to their localization: low within-population genetic diversity and higher genetic differentiation of rear-edge populations. The genetic structuring clearly dissociates the Algerian and Eastern Asia populations from the others. Geographical patterns of genetic diversity and differentiation support the hypothesis of the central-marginal model. The pattern observed is in agreement with the phenotypic structure across species range. A clear genetic break between populations of Algeria, the Eastern Asia, and the remaining populations is a dominant feature of the data. Differential local adaptations, absence of gene flow between marginal and central populations, and/or incapacity to mate after colonization, have contributed to their distinct genotypic and phenotypic characteristics.
Project description:Mountains are plant biodiversity hotspots considered particularly vulnerable to multiple environmental changes. Here, we quantify population changes and range-shift dynamics along elevational gradients over the last three decades for c. two-thirds of the orchid species of the European Alps. Local extinctions were more likely for small populations, after habitat alteration, and predominated at the rear edge of species' ranges. Except for the most thermophilic species and wetland specialists, population density decreased over time. Declines were more pronounced for rear-edge populations, possibly due to multiple pressures such as climate warming, habitat alteration, and mismatched ecological interactions. Besides these demographic trends, different species exhibited idiosyncratic range shifts with more than 50% of the species lagging behind climate warming. Our study highlights the importance of long-term monitoring of populations and range distributions at fine spatial resolution to be able to fully understand the consequences of global change for orchids.
Project description:Climate warming is likely to shift the range margins of species poleward, but fine-scale temperature differences near the ground (microclimates) may modify these range shifts. For example, cold-adapted species may survive in microrefugia when the climate gets warmer. However, it is still largely unknown to what extent cold microclimates govern the local persistence of populations at their warm range margin. We located 99 microrefugia, defined as sites with edge populations of 12 widespread boreal forest understory species (vascular plants, mosses, liverworts and lichens) in an area of ca. 24,000 km2 along the species' southern range margin in central Sweden. Within each population, a logger measured temperature eight times per day during one full year. Using univariate and multivariate analyses, we examined the differences of the populations' microclimates with the mean and range of microclimates in the landscape, and identified the typical climate, vegetation and topographic features of these habitats. Comparison sites were drawn from another logger data set (n = 110), and from high-resolution microclimate maps. The microrefugia were mainly places characterized by lower summer and autumn maximum temperatures, late snow melt dates and high climate stability. Microrefugia also had higher forest basal area and lower solar radiation in spring and autumn than the landscape average. Although there were common trends across northern species in how microrefugia differed from the landscape average, there were also interspecific differences and some species contributed more than others to the overall results. Our findings provide biologically meaningful criteria to locate and spatially predict potential climate microrefugia in the boreal forest. This opens up the opportunity to protect valuable sites, and adapt forest management, for example, by keeping old-growth forests at topographically shaded sites. These measures may help to mitigate the loss of genetic and species diversity caused by rear-edge contractions in a warmer climate.
Project description:The high genetic diversity of rear-edge refugia populations is predicted to have resulted from species repeatedly migrating to low latitudes during glacial periods over the course of Quaternary climate change. However, several recent empirical studies of cold-tolerant plants revealed the opposite pattern. We investigated whether current habitats of the cold-adapted and range-restricted Bupleurum euphorbioides in the Baekdudaegan, South Korea, and North Korea could be interglacial refugia, and documented how their rear-edge populations differ genetically from those of typical temperate species. Phylogeographic analysis and ecological niche modeling (ENM) were used. The genetic structure was analyzed using microsatellite markers and chloroplast DNA sequences. The congener B. longiradiatum was included as a typical temperate plant species. Despite having almost identical life history traits, these congeneric species exhibited contrasting patterns of genetic diversity. ENM revealed an apparent maximum range contraction during the last interglacial. In contrast, its range expanded northward to the Russian Far East (Primorsky) during the Last Glacial Maximum. Thus, we hypothesize that B. euphorbioides retreated to its current refugia during interglacial periods. Unlike populations in the central region, the rear-edge populations were genetically impoverished and uniform, both within populations and in pooled regional populations. The rear-edge B. euphorbioides survived at least one past interglacial, contributing to the species' genetic diversity. We believe that such genetic variation in the cold-adapted B. euphorbioides gives the species the necessary adaptations to survive an upcoming favorable environment (the next glacial), unless there is artificial environmental change.
Project description:Global climate change is having a significant effect on the distributions of a wide variety of species, causing both range shifts and population extinctions. To date, however, no consensus has emerged on how these processes will affect the range-wide genetic diversity of impacted species. It has been suggested that species that recolonized from low-latitude refugia might harbour high levels of genetic variation in rear-edge populations, and that loss of these populations could cause a disproportionately large reduction in overall genetic diversity in such taxa. In the present study, we have examined the distribution of genetic diversity across the range of the seaweed Chondrus crispus, a species that has exhibited a northward shift in its southern limit in Europe over the last 40 years. Analysis of 19 populations from both sides of the North Atlantic using mitochondrial single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), sequence data from two single-copy nuclear regions and allelic variation at eight microsatellite loci revealed unique genetic variation for all marker classes in the rear-edge populations in Iberia, but not in the rear-edge populations in North America. Palaeodistribution modelling and statistical testing of alternative phylogeographic scenarios indicate that the unique genetic diversity in Iberian populations is a result not only of persistence in the region during the last glacial maximum, but also because this refugium did not contribute substantially to the recolonization of Europe after the retreat of the ice. Consequently, loss of these rear-edge populations as a result of ongoing climate change will have a major effect on the overall genetic diversity of the species, particularly in Europe, and this could compromise the adaptive potential of the species as a whole in the face of future global warming.
Project description:Species expand towards higher latitudes in response to climate warming, but the pace of this expansion is related to the physiological capacity to resist cold stress. However, few studies exist that have quantified the level of inter-population local adaptation in marine species freeze tolerance, especially in the Arctic. We investigated the importance of cold adaptation and thermal window width towards high latitudes from the temperate to the Arctic region. We measured upper and lower lethal air temperatures (i.e. LT and LT50) in temperate and Arctic populations of blue mussels (Mytilus edulis), and analysed weather data and membrane fatty acid compositions, following emersion simulations. Both populations had similar upper LT (~38 °C), but Arctic mussels survived 4°C colder air temperatures than temperate mussels (-13 vs.?-9°C, respectively), corresponding to an 8% increase in their thermal window. There were strong latitudinal relationships between thermal window width and local air temperatures, indicating Arctic mussels are highly adapted to the Arctic environment where the seasonal temperature span exceeds 60°C. Local adaptation and local habitat heterogeneity thus allow leading-edge M. edulis to inhabit high Arctic intertidal zones. This intraspecific pattern provides insight into the importance of accounting for cold adaptation in climate change, conservation and biogeographic studies.
Project description:Populations at the edges of their geographical range tend to have lower genetic diversity, smaller effective population sizes and limited connectivity relative to centre of range populations. Range edge populations are also likely to be better adapted to more extreme conditions for future survival and resilience in warming environments. However, they may also be most at risk of extinction from changing climate. We compare reproductive and genetic data of the temperate seagrass, Posidonia australis on the west coast of Australia. Measures of reproductive effort (flowering and fruit production and seed to ovule ratios) and estimates of genetic diversity and mating patterns (nuclear microsatellite DNA loci) were used to assess sexual reproduction in northern range edge (low latitude, elevated salinities, Shark Bay World Heritage Site) and centre of range (mid-latitude, oceanic salinity, Perth metropolitan waters) meadows in Western Australia. Flower and fruit production were highly variable among meadows and there was no significant relationship between seed to ovule ratio and clonal diversity. However, Shark Bay meadows were two orders of magnitude less fecund than those in Perth metropolitan waters. Shark Bay meadows were characterized by significantly lower levels of genetic diversity and a mixed mating system relative to meadows in Perth metropolitan waters, which had high genetic diversity and a completely outcrossed mating system. The combination of reproductive and genetic data showed overall lower sexual productivity in Shark Bay meadows relative to Perth metropolitan waters. The mixed mating system is likely driven by a combination of local environmental conditions and pollen limitation. These results indicate that seagrass restoration in Shark Bay may benefit from sourcing plant material from multiple reproductive meadows to increase outcrossed pollen availability and seed production for natural recruitment.
Project description:The nature of species distribution boundaries is a key subject in ecology and evolution. Edge populations are potentially more exposed to climate-related environmental pressures. Despite research efforts, little is known about variability in fitness-related traits in leading (i.e., colder, high latitude) versus trailing (i.e., warmer, low latitude) edge populations. We tested whether the resilience, i.e. the resistance and recovery, of key traits differs between a distributional cold (Greenland) and warm (Portugal) range edge population of two foundation marine macrophytes, the intertidal macroalga Fucus vesiculosus and the subtidal seagrass Zostera marina. The resistance and recovery of edge populations to elevated seawater temperatures was compared under common experimental conditions using photosynthetic efficiency and expression of heat shock proteins (HSP). Cold and warm edge populations differed in their response, but this was species specific. The warm edge population of F. vesiculosus showed higher thermal resistance and recovery whereas the cold leading edge was less tolerant. The opposite was observed in Z. marina, with reduced recovery at the warm edge, while the cold edge was not markedly affected by warming. Our results confirm that differentiation of thermal stress responses can occur between leading and trailing edges, but such responses depend on local population traits and are thus not predictable just based on thermal pressures.
Project description:Ectothermic organisms are thought to be severely affected by global warming since their physiological performance is directly dependent on temperature. Latitudinal and temporal variations in mean temperatures force ectotherms to adapt to these complex environmental conditions. Studies investigating current patterns of thermal adaptation among populations of different latitudes allow a prediction of the potential impact of prospective increases in environmental temperatures on their fitness.In this study, temperature reaction norms were ascertained among 18 genetically defined, natural clones of the microbial eukaryote Paramecium caudatum. These different clones have been isolated from 12 freshwater habitats along a latitudinal transect in Europe and from 3 tropical habitats (Indonesia). The sensitivity to increasing temperatures was estimated through the analysis of clone specific thermal tolerances and by relating those to current and predicted temperature data of their natural habitats. All investigated European clones seem to be thermal generalists with a broad thermal tolerance and similar optimum temperatures. The weak or missing co-variation of thermal tolerance with latitude does not imply local adaptation to thermal gradients; it rather suggests adaptive phenotypic plasticity among the whole European subpopulation. The tested Indonesian clones appear to be locally adapted to the less variable, tropical temperature regime and show higher tolerance limits, but lower tolerance breadths.Due to the lack of local temperature adaptation within the European subpopulation, P. caudatum genotypes at the most southern edge of their geographic range seem to suffer from the predicted increase in magnitude and frequency of summer heat waves caused by climate change.
Project description:Local adaptations to environmental conditions are of high ecological importance as they determine distribution ranges and likely affect species responses to climate change. Increased environmental stress (warming, extreme drought) due to climate change in combination with decreased genetic mixing due to isolation may lead to stronger local adaptations of geographically marginal than central populations. We experimentally observed local adaptations of three marginal and four central populations of Fagus sylvaticaL., the dominant native forest tree, to frost over winter and in spring (late frost). We determined frost hardiness of buds and roots by the relative electrolyte leakage in two common garden experiments. The experiment at the cold site included a continuous warming treatment; the experiment at the warm site included a preceding summer drought manipulation. In both experiments, we found evidence for local adaptation to frost, with stronger signs of local adaptation in marginal populations. Winter frost killed many of the potted individuals at the cold site, with higher survival in the warming treatment and in those populations originating from colder environments. However, we found no difference in winter frost tolerance of buds among populations, implying that bud survival was not the main cue for mortality. Bud late frost tolerance in April differed between populations at the warm site, mainly because of phenological differences in bud break. Increased spring frost tolerance of plants which had experienced drought stress in the preceding summer could also be explained by shifts in phenology. Stronger local adaptations to climate in geographically marginal than central populations imply the potential for adaptation to climate at range edges. In times of climate change, however, it needs to be tested whether locally adapted populations at range margins can successfully adapt further to changing conditions.