Abstract Detail

Dynamics and Demography of Alpine Islands

Sheth, Seema [1], Grossenbacher, Dena [2], Meagan, Oldfather [3].

Dynamics and Demography of Alpine Islands.

Alpine communities are often regionally isolated across mountaintops (island-like), as well as locally heterogenous with complex patterns of suitable habitat for alpine species within landscapes (Elsen & Tingley 2015). These high elevation systems exhibit amplified warming and plant community change relative to lower elevation communities (Bertrand et al. 2011; Pepin et al. 2015). Recent studies investigating the dynamics of montane plants have found an increasing rate of new sub-alpine species moving into alpine landscapes with increased warming (Steinbauer et al. 2018), and suggest that the joint impact of competitive interactions and warming may be the main driver of alpine species loss (Lamprecht et al. 2018). Additionally, the complex landscape of alpine habitats is predicted to influence how life-history stages from dispersal, establishment, growth, and reproduction impact current and future population dynamics (Graae et al. 2018). Despite significant work on alpine plant distributions, several outstanding questions remain. How will range shifts of montane species be influenced by novel species interactions (Alexander et al. 2015)? What is the extent that topographic heterogeneity and habitat structure (e.g., scree) will mediate these interactions (Kulonen et al. 2018)? How will climate variability and extreme events influence the balance between extinction lags and establishment lags in this system (Alexander et al. 2018)?  And are the dynamics observed in predominately temperature limited-systems consistent for alpine communities that are both temperature and moisture-limited, as is more commonly found in western North America (Gottfried et al. 2012; Winkler et al. 2016)?  This colloquium will bring together experts who use a variety of field approaches to study the impacts of changing climate on alpine plant population and community dynamics around the world. Relevance: The fate of the world’s alpine plant communities under a warming climate is hotly debated and primarily studied using resurvey approaches (e.g., GLORIA), experimental warming plots, and species distribution modeling. This colloquium builds on these approaches by exploring how the interplay between habitat heterogeneity, plant demography, and functional traits shapes biodiversity in these unusual island-like landscapes.

1 - North Carolina State University , Plant & Microbial Biology, Campus Box 7612, Raleigh, NC, 27695-7612, USA
2 - California Polytechnic State University, Biology, 1 Grand Avenue, San Luis Obispo, CA, 93407, United States
3 - University of Colorado Boulder , Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 1900 Pleasant Street, 334 UCB, Boulder, CO, 80309-0334, United States

alpine flora
community ecology
population ecology
climate change
geographic species distribution.

Presentation Type: Colloquium Presentations
Abstract ID:14
Candidate for Awards:None

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