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Where, why and how? Explaining the low temperature range limits of temperate tree species

Körner, Christian and Basler, David and Hoch, Günter and Kollas, Chris and Lenz, Armando and Randin, Christoph and Vitasse, Y. and Zimmermann, N. E.. (2016) Where, why and how? Explaining the low temperature range limits of temperate tree species. Journal of Ecology, 104 (4). pp. 1076-1088.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/45176/

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Abstract

Attempts at explaining range limits of temperate tree species still rest on correlations with climatic data that lack a physiological justification. Here, we present a synthesis of a multidisciplinary project that offers mechanistic explanations. Employing climatology, biogeography, dendrology, population and reproduction biology, stress physiology and phenology, we combine results from in situ elevational (Swiss Alps) and latitudinal (Alps vs. Scandinavia) comparisons, from reciprocal common garden and phytotron studies for eight European broadleaf tree species. We show that unlike for low-stature plants, tree canopy temperatures can be predicted from weather station data, and that low-temperature extremes in winter do not explain range limits. At the current low-temperature range limit, all species recruit well. Transplants revealed that the local environment rather than elevation of seed origin dominates growth and phenology. Tree ring width at the range limit is not related to season length, but to growing season temperature, with no evidence of carbon shortage. Bud break and leaf emergence in adults trees are timed in such a way that the probability of freezing damage is almost zero, with a uniform safety margin across elevations and taxa. More freezing-resistant species flush earlier than less resistant species. Synthesis : we conclude that the range limits of the examined tree species are set by the interactive influence of freezing resistance in spring, phenology settings, and the time required to mature tissue. Microevolution of spring phenology compromises between demands set by freezing resistance of young, immature tissue and season length requirements related to autumnal tissue maturation.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Botanik > Physiological Plant Ecology (Kahmen)
05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Ehemalige Einheiten Umweltwissenschaften > Pflanzenökologie (Körner)
UniBasel Contributors:Hoch, Günter and Körner, Christian and Basler, David and Lenz, Armando and Randin, Christophe and Vitasse, Yann
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0022-0477
e-ISSN:1365-2745
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Identification Number:
Last Modified:30 Oct 2017 07:46
Deposited On:30 Oct 2017 07:46

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