Limits...
Complex response of white pines to past environmental variability increases understanding of future vulnerability.

Iglesias V, Krause TR, Whitlock C - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: Ecological niche models predict plant responses to climate change by circumscribing species distributions within a multivariate environmental framework.Most projections based on modern bioclimatic correlations imply that high-elevation species are likely to be extirpated from their current ranges as a result of rising growing-season temperatures in the coming decades.This long-term perspective offers insights on species responses to a broader range of climate and associated ecosystem changes than can be observed at present and should be part of resource management and conservation planning for the future.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Montana Institute on Ecosystems, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Ecological niche models predict plant responses to climate change by circumscribing species distributions within a multivariate environmental framework. Most projections based on modern bioclimatic correlations imply that high-elevation species are likely to be extirpated from their current ranges as a result of rising growing-season temperatures in the coming decades. Paleoecological data spanning the last 15,000 years from the Greater Yellowstone region describe the response of vegetation to past climate variability and suggest that white pines, a taxon of special concern in the region, have been surprisingly resilient to high summer temperature and fire activity in the past. Moreover, the fossil record suggests that winter conditions and biotic interactions have been critical limiting variables for high-elevation conifers in the past and will likely be so in the future. This long-term perspective offers insights on species responses to a broader range of climate and associated ecosystem changes than can be observed at present and should be part of resource management and conservation planning for the future.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Environmental and conifer history in the Greater Yellowstone region over the last 15,000 years, including trends in January (blue) and July (red) insolation anomalies [44], snowpack dynamics inferred from δ18O variations at Crevice Lake [19] (note that the y-axis is reversed), fire activity (CHAR) and pollen abundance (%), and the first recorded presence of mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus spp.) [46].Carbonate δ18O variations at Crevice Lake are interpreted as changes in spring snowmelt that affect the isotopic composition of the Yellowstone River. Low (more negative) δ18O values correspond with more humid winters [19]. Pollen and charcoal regional trends are estimated by GAMs applied to the charcoal influx pollen percent and data. Standard errors are shown in gray.
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pone.0124439.g002: Environmental and conifer history in the Greater Yellowstone region over the last 15,000 years, including trends in January (blue) and July (red) insolation anomalies [44], snowpack dynamics inferred from δ18O variations at Crevice Lake [19] (note that the y-axis is reversed), fire activity (CHAR) and pollen abundance (%), and the first recorded presence of mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus spp.) [46].Carbonate δ18O variations at Crevice Lake are interpreted as changes in spring snowmelt that affect the isotopic composition of the Yellowstone River. Low (more negative) δ18O values correspond with more humid winters [19]. Pollen and charcoal regional trends are estimated by GAMs applied to the charcoal influx pollen percent and data. Standard errors are shown in gray.

Mentions: Changes in the abundance of pollen taxa through time reflect long-term shifts in vegetation that are likely associated with large-scale variations in climate and their interaction with local environmental conditions (Fig 2). Prior to 13,000 cal yr BP (cal yr BP = calibrated radiocarbon years before AD 1950), the Greater Yellowstone region was characterized by sparsely vegetated deglacial landscapes. At the end of the Pleistocene and into the early Holocene (ca. 12,000 to 6000 cal yr BP), amplification of the seasonal cycle of insolation resulted in summer radiation values that were 8% higher than present and winter values that were 10% lower at lat 45°N [44]. Increased seasonality and associated changes in atmospheric circulation led to higher summer temperatures (~3°C above present, i.e., mean summer temperature over the 1998–2000 AD period), cold winters (2°C below present), and lower-than-present summer moisture (~0.5 mm day-1 below present) [45]. With the initial rise in postglacial growing-season temperatures, Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii; 13,500–11,000 cal yr BP), subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa; after 12,500 cal yr BP), and white pines (after 12,500 cal yr BP) established in the region to form open parkland and then closed subalpine forest (Fig 2). The pollen data suggest greatest abundance of whitebark pine and/or limber pine between 12,000 and 7500 cal yr BP at most sites, and a steady decline in abundance thereafter, tracking the decrease in summer insolation and rise in winter insolation. The presence of Pinus cf. P. albicaulis needles in late-glacial/early-Holocene sediments at some sites confirmed the early local presence of this taxon (Fig 1) [20]. Lodgepole pine steadily increased in abundance after ~11,000 cal yr BP and became the dominant conifer at middle elevations and on rhyolitic volcanic substrates [21]. Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) expanded at low and middle elevations after 7000 cal yr BP (Fig 2).


Complex response of white pines to past environmental variability increases understanding of future vulnerability.

Iglesias V, Krause TR, Whitlock C - PLoS ONE (2015)

Environmental and conifer history in the Greater Yellowstone region over the last 15,000 years, including trends in January (blue) and July (red) insolation anomalies [44], snowpack dynamics inferred from δ18O variations at Crevice Lake [19] (note that the y-axis is reversed), fire activity (CHAR) and pollen abundance (%), and the first recorded presence of mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus spp.) [46].Carbonate δ18O variations at Crevice Lake are interpreted as changes in spring snowmelt that affect the isotopic composition of the Yellowstone River. Low (more negative) δ18O values correspond with more humid winters [19]. Pollen and charcoal regional trends are estimated by GAMs applied to the charcoal influx pollen percent and data. Standard errors are shown in gray.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4401641&req=5

pone.0124439.g002: Environmental and conifer history in the Greater Yellowstone region over the last 15,000 years, including trends in January (blue) and July (red) insolation anomalies [44], snowpack dynamics inferred from δ18O variations at Crevice Lake [19] (note that the y-axis is reversed), fire activity (CHAR) and pollen abundance (%), and the first recorded presence of mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus spp.) [46].Carbonate δ18O variations at Crevice Lake are interpreted as changes in spring snowmelt that affect the isotopic composition of the Yellowstone River. Low (more negative) δ18O values correspond with more humid winters [19]. Pollen and charcoal regional trends are estimated by GAMs applied to the charcoal influx pollen percent and data. Standard errors are shown in gray.
Mentions: Changes in the abundance of pollen taxa through time reflect long-term shifts in vegetation that are likely associated with large-scale variations in climate and their interaction with local environmental conditions (Fig 2). Prior to 13,000 cal yr BP (cal yr BP = calibrated radiocarbon years before AD 1950), the Greater Yellowstone region was characterized by sparsely vegetated deglacial landscapes. At the end of the Pleistocene and into the early Holocene (ca. 12,000 to 6000 cal yr BP), amplification of the seasonal cycle of insolation resulted in summer radiation values that were 8% higher than present and winter values that were 10% lower at lat 45°N [44]. Increased seasonality and associated changes in atmospheric circulation led to higher summer temperatures (~3°C above present, i.e., mean summer temperature over the 1998–2000 AD period), cold winters (2°C below present), and lower-than-present summer moisture (~0.5 mm day-1 below present) [45]. With the initial rise in postglacial growing-season temperatures, Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii; 13,500–11,000 cal yr BP), subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa; after 12,500 cal yr BP), and white pines (after 12,500 cal yr BP) established in the region to form open parkland and then closed subalpine forest (Fig 2). The pollen data suggest greatest abundance of whitebark pine and/or limber pine between 12,000 and 7500 cal yr BP at most sites, and a steady decline in abundance thereafter, tracking the decrease in summer insolation and rise in winter insolation. The presence of Pinus cf. P. albicaulis needles in late-glacial/early-Holocene sediments at some sites confirmed the early local presence of this taxon (Fig 1) [20]. Lodgepole pine steadily increased in abundance after ~11,000 cal yr BP and became the dominant conifer at middle elevations and on rhyolitic volcanic substrates [21]. Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) expanded at low and middle elevations after 7000 cal yr BP (Fig 2).

Bottom Line: Ecological niche models predict plant responses to climate change by circumscribing species distributions within a multivariate environmental framework.Most projections based on modern bioclimatic correlations imply that high-elevation species are likely to be extirpated from their current ranges as a result of rising growing-season temperatures in the coming decades.This long-term perspective offers insights on species responses to a broader range of climate and associated ecosystem changes than can be observed at present and should be part of resource management and conservation planning for the future.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Montana Institute on Ecosystems, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Ecological niche models predict plant responses to climate change by circumscribing species distributions within a multivariate environmental framework. Most projections based on modern bioclimatic correlations imply that high-elevation species are likely to be extirpated from their current ranges as a result of rising growing-season temperatures in the coming decades. Paleoecological data spanning the last 15,000 years from the Greater Yellowstone region describe the response of vegetation to past climate variability and suggest that white pines, a taxon of special concern in the region, have been surprisingly resilient to high summer temperature and fire activity in the past. Moreover, the fossil record suggests that winter conditions and biotic interactions have been critical limiting variables for high-elevation conifers in the past and will likely be so in the future. This long-term perspective offers insights on species responses to a broader range of climate and associated ecosystem changes than can be observed at present and should be part of resource management and conservation planning for the future.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus