Science, 353(6294):32-33, 2016. Paper Website abstract bibtex
Climate change affects wild plant species across their geographical ranges. Studies at the margins of species' ranges reveal upslope expansion, low-elevation range contraction, and, in some cases, a lack of geographic response to climate change ( 1 ). However, all populations, including those in the core of species' ranges, are subject to climate-driven natural selection that promotes adaptation to a warmer world ( 2 ). Theoretical models show that coupled spatial and temporal responses of populations can mediate the negative effects of climate change ( 3 , 4 ), but it remains unclear whether these processes can occur fast enough to rescue populations from extinction ( 5 ). On page 69 of this issue, Petry et al. ( 6 ) report rapid spatial and temporal change in plant sex ratios in response to changing climatic conditions. These changes could facilitate geographic range shifts in the montane perennial herb valerian ( Valeriana edulis ).