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Climate warming may increase the frequency of cold-adapted haplotypes in alpine plants

, Andreas Gattringer, Frédéric Guillaume, , Günther Klonner, Dietmar Moser,
Published: 10 January 2022

Abstract: Modelling of climate-driven range shifts commonly treats species as ecologically homogeneous units. However, many species show intraspecific variation of climatic niches and theory predicts that such variation may lead to counterintuitive eco-evolutionary dynamics. Here, we incorporate assumed intraspecific niche variation into a dynamic range model and explore possible consequences for six high-mountain plant species of the European Alps under scenarios of twenty-first century climate warming. At the species level, the results indicate massive range loss independent of intraspecific variation. At the intraspecific level, the model predicts a decrease in the frequency of warm-adapted haplotypes in five species. The latter effect is probably driven by a combination of leading-edge colonization and priority effects within the species’ elevational range and was weakest when leading-edge expansion was constrained by mountain topography The resulting maladaptation may additionally increase the risk that alpine plants face from shrinkage of their ranges in a warming climate.
Keywords: Climate-change ecology / Ecological genetics / Population dynamics / Environment / general / Climate Change / Climate Change/Climate Change Impacts / Environmental Law/Policy/Ecojustice

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