Exploring range shifts of contrasting tree species across a bioclimatic transition zone



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Hernández, Laura and Sánchez de Dios, Rut and Montes, Fernando and Sáinz Ollero, Helios and Cañellas, Isabel (2017) Exploring range shifts of contrasting tree species across a bioclimatic transition zone. European Journal of Forest Research, 136 (3). pp. 481-492. ISSN 1612-4669

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Official URL: https://link.springer.com/journal/10342


Bioclimatic transition zones are supposed to encompass sensitive areas to global change effects on forest ecosystems. In this study, we attempt to detect shifts in the ranges of contrasting Iberian tree species in the submediterranean transition zone in Navarra, northern Spain. These shifts are analysed in the context of a significant increase in temperature over recent decades along with moderate land use changes. Data from national forest inventories (1971 and 2010) are compared through universal kriging (UK) and block kriging models to assess the shifts in the ranges of Quercus subpyrenaica, Quercus ilex, Pinus sylvestris and Fagus sylvatica. UK results predicted an increase in the presence probability of the four target species for the whole Navarra region. However, in the submediterranean zone, the presence probability of Q. subpyrenaica, P. sylvestris and F. sylvatica shows a shrinking trend, whereas Q. ilex is expanding its range, supporting a previous hypothesis of a “mediterranization” of this bioclimatic transition region. These trends are concomitant with recent elevational shift patterns towards higher elevations in the case of Q. subpyrenaica, P. sylvestris and F. sylvaticain the transition zone. Moreover, the expected increase in species richness as a consequence of geographical shifts and vegetation recovery is identified. The moderate human influence detected in the study area confirms the major role of climate warming as driver of species range shifts over the period. The results of this study highlight the suitability of bioclimatic transition zones for monitoring the effects of global change on natural ecosystems, providing evidences of the complex mechanisms affecting the distribution of forests.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Submediterranean zone; Mediterranization; Shifts; Land use changes; Climate warming; European tree species
Subjects:Medical sciences > Biology
Medical sciences > Biology > Botany
Medical sciences > Biology > Plant physiology
ID Code:43870
Deposited On:14 Jul 2017 14:20
Last Modified:09 Apr 2019 09:08

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