Rare species perform worse than common species under changed climate

Vincent, Hugo; Bornand, Christophe N.; Kempel, Anne; Fischer, Markus (16 October 2019). Rare species perform worse than common species under changed climate (bioRxiv). Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory 10.1101/805416

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Predicting how species, particularly rare and endangered ones, will react to climate change is a major current challenge in ecology. Rare species are expected to have a narrower niche width than common species. However, we know little whether they are also less able to cope with new climatic conditions. To simulate climate change, we transplanted 35 plant species varying in rarity to five botanical gardens in Switzerland, differing in altitude. For each species we calculated the difference in climate between their natural habitats and the novel climate of the respective botanical garden. We found that rare species had generally lower survival and biomass production than common species. Moreover, rare plant species survived less when the amount of precipitation differed more from the one in their natural range, indicating a higher susceptibility to climate change. Common species, in contrast, survived equally well under all climates and even increased their biomass under wetter or drier conditions. Our study shows that rarer species are less able to cope with changes in climate compared to more widespread ones, which might even benefit from these changes. This indicates that already rare and endangered plant species might suffer strongly from future climate change.

Item Type:

Working Paper

Division/Institute:

10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Plant Ecology
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Biodiversity

UniBE Contributor:

Vincent, Hugo Christian; Kempel, Anne Sybille and Fischer, Markus

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

Series:

bioRxiv

Publisher:

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

26 Nov 2019 11:25

Last Modified:

26 Nov 2019 11:25

Publisher DOI:

10.1101/805416

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.135381

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/135381

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