Thermophilization of Adult and Juvenile Tree Communities in the Northern Tropical Andes. Duque, A.; Stevenson, P. R.; and Feeley, K. J. 112(34):10744–10749.
Thermophilization of Adult and Juvenile Tree Communities in the Northern Tropical Andes [link]Paper  doi  abstract   bibtex   
[Significance] Understanding how species respond to climate change is crucial to the development of effective conservation strategies. We found directional and systematic changes in the composition of both adult and juvenile tree species in tropical north Andean forests at rates consistent with concurrent temperature increases, supporting the hypothesis of upward species migrations resulting from global warming. Our results indicate that compositional shifts occur primarily via range retractions. This suggests elevated risk for species extinctions and local biodiversity loss with ongoing warming. Other environmental filters, such as species-soil adaptations, as well as anthropogenic disturbances (e.g., habitat loss and hunting) may limit future species migrations and decrease the ability of forest communities and their constituent species to respond to climate change. [Abstract] Climate change is expected to cause shifts in the composition of tropical montane forests towards increased relative abundances of species whose ranges were previously centered at lower, hotter elevations. To investigate this process of ” thermophilization,” we analyzed patterns of compositional change over the last decade using recensus data from a network of 16 adult and juvenile tree plots in the tropical forests of northern Andes Mountains and adjacent lowlands in northwestern Colombia. Analyses show evidence that tree species composition is strongly linked to temperature and that composition is changing directionally through time, potentially in response to climate change and increasing temperatures. Mean rates of thermophilization [thermal migration rate (TMR), °C⋅y-1] across all censuses were 0.011 °C⋅y-1 (95\,% confidence interval = 0.002-0.022 °C⋅y-1) for adult trees and 0.027 °C⋅y-1 (95\,% confidence interval = 0.009-0.050 °C⋅y-1) for juvenile trees. The fact that thermophilization is occurring in both the adult and juvenile trees and at rates consistent with concurrent warming supports the hypothesis that the observed compositional changes are part of a long-term process, such as global warming, and are not a response to any single episodic event. The observed changes in composition were driven primarily by patterns of tree mortality, indicating that the changes in composition are mostly via range retractions, rather than range shifts or expansions. These results all indicate that tropical forests are being strongly affected by climate change and suggest that many species will be at elevated risk for extinction as warming continues.
@article{duqueThermophilizationAdultJuvenile2015,
  title = {Thermophilization of Adult and Juvenile Tree Communities in the Northern Tropical {{Andes}}},
  author = {Duque, Alvaro and Stevenson, Pablo R. and Feeley, Kenneth J.},
  date = {2015-08},
  journaltitle = {Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences},
  volume = {112},
  pages = {10744--10749},
  issn = {1091-6490},
  doi = {10.1073/pnas.1506570112},
  url = {https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1506570112},
  abstract = {[Significance]

Understanding how species respond to climate change is crucial to the development of effective conservation strategies. We found directional and systematic changes in the composition of both adult and juvenile tree species in tropical north Andean forests at rates consistent with concurrent temperature increases, supporting the hypothesis of upward species migrations resulting from global warming. Our results indicate that compositional shifts occur primarily via range retractions. This suggests elevated risk for species extinctions and local biodiversity loss with ongoing warming. Other environmental filters, such as species-soil adaptations, as well as anthropogenic disturbances (e.g., habitat loss and hunting) may limit future species migrations and decrease the ability of forest communities and their constituent species to respond to climate change.

[Abstract]

Climate change is expected to cause shifts in the composition of tropical montane forests towards increased relative abundances of species whose ranges were previously centered at lower, hotter elevations. To investigate this process of ” thermophilization,” we analyzed patterns of compositional change over the last decade using recensus data from a network of 16 adult and juvenile tree plots in the tropical forests of northern Andes Mountains and adjacent lowlands in northwestern Colombia. Analyses show evidence that tree species composition is strongly linked to temperature and that composition is changing directionally through time, potentially in response to climate change and increasing temperatures. Mean rates of thermophilization [thermal migration rate (TMR), °C⋅y-1] across all censuses were 0.011 °C⋅y-1 (95\,\% confidence interval = 0.002-0.022 °C⋅y-1) for adult trees and 0.027 °C⋅y-1 (95\,\% confidence interval = 0.009-0.050 °C⋅y-1) for juvenile trees. The fact that thermophilization is occurring in both the adult and juvenile trees and at rates consistent with concurrent warming supports the hypothesis that the observed compositional changes are part of a long-term process, such as global warming, and are not a response to any single episodic event. The observed changes in composition were driven primarily by patterns of tree mortality, indicating that the changes in composition are mostly via range retractions, rather than range shifts or expansions. These results all indicate that tropical forests are being strongly affected by climate change and suggest that many species will be at elevated risk for extinction as warming continues.},
  keywords = {*imported-from-citeulike-INRMM,~INRMM-MiD:c-13712962,~to-add-doi-URL,ande-region,climate-change,forest-resources,mountainous-areas,plant-communities,tree-species},
  number = {34}
}
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