Abstract Detail

Molecular Ecology

Mercier, Kathryn [1], Michelangeli, Fabian [2], Carnaval, Ana [1].

Predicting the future with pawpaw, Asimina reticulata.

Accurate characterizations of species distributions in the near future are crucial to guide policy and management, but they are difficult to predict because climate is rapidly changing and driving changes to species distributions. Existing frameworks to predict shifts in species ranges over the next century often rely on Ecological Niche Modeling (ENM), which infer species current environmental tolerances and can be projected into future environmental conditions. More complex approaches incorporate species movement through time, through individual-based or demographic modeling, but still have room for improvement. We propose a framework that will allow scientists to incorporate species’ ability to shift their environmental tolerances into demographic models of species movement over time, and test if this results in improved estimates of species distributions. To develop and test this new framework, we focus on the shrub Asimina reticulata and its close relatives, commonly known as pawpaws. The genus Asimina contains 11 species of woody shrubs or small understory trees, most of which are endemic to the North American Coastal Plain, with the exception of two more widespread species occurring across eastern North America (A. triloba and A. parviflora). We have combined available occurrence records and environmental descriptors with physiological data collected in the field to create preliminary ENMs of each of the 11 Asimina species. Now, we are characterizing how the tolerances in this group have shifted through time, using a time-calibrated phylogeny. We will then use paleoclimate and near-future climate projections to create two parameter sets describing the landscape suitability over time for A. reticulata: one parameterized on the contemporary ENM and the second parameterized on the evolving tolerances. Next, we will use these landscapes to run spatially explicit demographic simulations and generate two sets of simulated genetic data: one reflecting the expected distribution of genetic variation in geography assuming that the environmental tolerances of the species has been constant over time, and the other assuming evolution of the niche. Finally, we will use population genetic data from A. reticulata to calculate empirical population genetic statistics and test which model output more closely matches the empirical data, and if there are significant differences in the predicted range of A. reticulata under each model in the near future. This poster will showcase the proposed framework and preliminary data.

1 - City College of New York, Biology, 160 Convent Ave, Marshak Science Building, New York City, NY, 10031, USA
2 - The New York Botanical Garden, Institute Of Systematic Botany, 2900 Southern Blvd., Bronx, NY, 10458, United States

species distributions
Southeast US
Ecological niche model

Presentation Type: Poster
Number: PME002
Abstract ID:615
Candidate for Awards:None

Copyright © 2000-2022, Botanical Society of America. All rights reserved