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Phylogenetic assemblage structure of North American trees is more strongly shaped by glacial-interglacial climate variability in gymnosperms than in angiosperms.


ABSTRACT: How fast does biodiversity respond to climate change? The relationship of past and current climate with phylogenetic assemblage structure helps us to understand this question. Studies of angiosperm tree diversity in North America have already suggested effects of current water-energy balance and tropical niche conservatism. However, the role of glacial-interglacial climate variability remains to be determined, and little is known about any of these relationships for gymnosperms. Moreover, phylogenetic endemism, the concentration of unique lineages in restricted ranges, may also be related to glacial-interglacial climate variability and needs more attention. We used a refined phylogeny of both angiosperms and gymnosperms to map phylogenetic diversity, clustering and endemism of North American trees in 100-km grid cells, and climate change velocity since Last Glacial Maximum together with postglacial accessibility to recolonization to quantify glacial-interglacial climate variability. We found: (1) Current climate is the dominant factor explaining the overall patterns, with more clustered angiosperm assemblages toward lower temperature, consistent with tropical niche conservatism. (2) Long-term climate stability is associated with higher angiosperm endemism, while higher postglacial accessibility is linked to to more phylogenetic clustering and endemism in gymnosperms. (3) Factors linked to glacial-interglacial climate change have stronger effects on gymnosperms than on angiosperms. These results suggest that paleoclimate legacies supplement current climate in shaping phylogenetic patterns in North American trees, and especially so for gymnosperms.

SUBMITTER: Ma Z 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4870196 | BioStudies | 2016-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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