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Title: Declines in low-elevation subalpine tree populations outpace growth in high-elevation populations with warming

Abstract

Species distribution shifts in response to climate change require that recruitment increase beyond current range boundaries. For trees with long life spans, the importance of climate-sensitive seedling establishment to the pace of range shifts has not been demonstrated quantitatively. Using spatially explicit, stochastic population models combined with data from long-term forest surveys, we explored whether the climate-sensitivity of recruitment observed in climate manipulation experiments was sufficient to alter populations and elevation ranges of two widely distributed, high-elevation North American conifers. Empirically observed, warming-driven declines in recruitment led to rapid modelled population declines at the low-elevation, ‘warm edge’ of subalpine forest and slow emergence of populations beyond the high-elevation, ‘cool edge’. Because population declines in the forest occurred much faster than population emergence in the alpine, we observed range contraction for both species. For Engelmann spruce, this contraction was permanent over the modelled time horizon, even in the presence of increased moisture. For limber pine, lower sensitivity to warming may facilitate persistence at low elevations – especially in the presence of increased moisture – and rapid establishment above tree line, and, ultimately, expansion into the alpine. Synthesis. Assuming 21st century warming and no additional moisture, population dynamics in high-elevation forests ledmore » to transient range contractions for limber pine and potentially permanent range contractions for Engelmann spruce. Thus, limitations to seedling recruitment with warming can constrain the pace of subalpine tree range shifts.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [4];  [4];  [5]
  1. Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)
  2. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Univ. of California, Merced, CA (United States)
  3. US Geological Survey, Boise, ID (United States)
  4. Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States)
  5. Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States); Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Univ. of California, Merced, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
OSTI Identifier:
1379924
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1375086
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231; FG02-07ER64457
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Ecology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 105; Journal Issue: 5; Journal ID: ISSN 0022-0477
Publisher:
Wiley
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; climate change; conifer; demographic model; range shift; subalpine forest; time-lag; tree line

Citation Formats

Conlisk, Erin, Castanha, Cristina, Germino, Matthew J., Veblen, Thomas T., Smith, Jeremy M., and Kueppers, Lara M. Declines in low-elevation subalpine tree populations outpace growth in high-elevation populations with warming. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1111/1365-2745.12750.
Conlisk, Erin, Castanha, Cristina, Germino, Matthew J., Veblen, Thomas T., Smith, Jeremy M., & Kueppers, Lara M. Declines in low-elevation subalpine tree populations outpace growth in high-elevation populations with warming. United States. doi:10.1111/1365-2745.12750.
Conlisk, Erin, Castanha, Cristina, Germino, Matthew J., Veblen, Thomas T., Smith, Jeremy M., and Kueppers, Lara M. Wed . "Declines in low-elevation subalpine tree populations outpace growth in high-elevation populations with warming". United States. doi:10.1111/1365-2745.12750. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1379924.
@article{osti_1379924,
title = {Declines in low-elevation subalpine tree populations outpace growth in high-elevation populations with warming},
author = {Conlisk, Erin and Castanha, Cristina and Germino, Matthew J. and Veblen, Thomas T. and Smith, Jeremy M. and Kueppers, Lara M.},
abstractNote = {Species distribution shifts in response to climate change require that recruitment increase beyond current range boundaries. For trees with long life spans, the importance of climate-sensitive seedling establishment to the pace of range shifts has not been demonstrated quantitatively. Using spatially explicit, stochastic population models combined with data from long-term forest surveys, we explored whether the climate-sensitivity of recruitment observed in climate manipulation experiments was sufficient to alter populations and elevation ranges of two widely distributed, high-elevation North American conifers. Empirically observed, warming-driven declines in recruitment led to rapid modelled population declines at the low-elevation, ‘warm edge’ of subalpine forest and slow emergence of populations beyond the high-elevation, ‘cool edge’. Because population declines in the forest occurred much faster than population emergence in the alpine, we observed range contraction for both species. For Engelmann spruce, this contraction was permanent over the modelled time horizon, even in the presence of increased moisture. For limber pine, lower sensitivity to warming may facilitate persistence at low elevations – especially in the presence of increased moisture – and rapid establishment above tree line, and, ultimately, expansion into the alpine. Synthesis. Assuming 21st century warming and no additional moisture, population dynamics in high-elevation forests led to transient range contractions for limber pine and potentially permanent range contractions for Engelmann spruce. Thus, limitations to seedling recruitment with warming can constrain the pace of subalpine tree range shifts.},
doi = {10.1111/1365-2745.12750},
journal = {Journal of Ecology},
number = 5,
volume = 105,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {2}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
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Cited by: 9 works
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Figures / Tables:

Fig. 1 Fig. 1: The model assumed three 1-km2 patches analogous to the three sites in the recruitment experiment: (i) an alpine patch with initially no individuals, (ii) a tree line patch with mostly small saplings and few large adults, and (iii) a forest patch with initially many adults. Dispersal between treemore » line and alpine patches and tree line and forest patches was set at 0∙05% and 0∙5% of seeds produced for Engelmann spruce and limber pine respectively.« less

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Works referenced in this record:

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journal, August 2012


Population dynamics can be more important than physiological limits for determining range shifts under climate change
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Influence of canopy structure and direct beam solar irradiance on snowmelt rates in a mixed conifer forest
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Expansion of subalpine woody vegetation over 40 years on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada
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Data from: Declines in low-elevation subalpine tree populations outpace growth in high-elevation populations with warming
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Species interactions slow warming-induced upward shifts of treelines on the Tibetan Plateau
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Microsite differentiation among conifer species during seedling establishment at alpine treeline
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Forest structure and species traits mediate projected recruitment declines in western US tree species: Tree recruitment patterns in the western US
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Critical temperatures for xylogenesis in conifers of cold climates
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Extinction debt of high-mountain plants under twenty-first-century climate change
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Widespread Increase of Tree Mortality Rates in the Western United States
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Late-Holocene paleoclimate and treeline fluctuation in Wyoming’s Wind River Range, USA
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Predicting species responses to climate change: demography and climate microrefugia in California valley oak (Quercus lobata)
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Extended density-dependent mortality in mature conifer forests: causes and implications for ecosystem management
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Permanent forest plots show accelerating tree mortality in subalpine forests of the Colorado Front Range from 1982 to 2013
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Are treelines advancing? A global meta-analysis of treeline response to climate warming
journal, October 2009


A model-data comparison of Holocene timberline changes in the Swiss Alps reveals past and future drivers of mountain forest dynamics
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Phenology is a major determinant of tree species range
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Conserving biodiversity under climate change: the rear edge matters: Rear edges and climate change
journal, March 2005


Climate warming feedback from mountain birch forest expansion: reduced albedo dominates carbon uptake
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Proactive intervention to sustain high-elevation pine ecosystems threatened by white pine blister rust
journal, October 2007


Failure to migrate: lack of tree range expansion in response to climate change
journal, November 2011


Recruitment limitation of long-lived conifers: implications for climate change responses
journal, May 2015

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Spatiotemporal Influences of Climate on Altitudinal Treeline in Northern Patagonia
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Correlation and process in species distribution models: bridging a dichotomy: Bridging the correlation-process dichotomy
journal, January 2012


Continent-wide response of mountain vegetation to climate change
journal, January 2012

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  • Nature Climate Change, Vol. 2, Issue 2
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Demographic compensation and tipping points in climate-induced range shifts
journal, October 2010


Warming and provenance limit tree recruitment across and beyond the elevation range of subalpine forest
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Does carbon storage limit tree growth?
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Moisture rivals temperature in limiting photosynthesis by trees establishing beyond their cold-edge range limit under ambient and warmed conditions
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journal, December 2013


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journal, April 2001


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    Works referencing / citing this record:

    Adaptation, migration or extirpation: climate change outcomes for tree populations: Climate change outcomes for tree populations
    journal, January 2008


    Extended density-dependent mortality in mature conifer forests: causes and implications for ecosystem management
    journal, July 2016

    • Gendreau-Berthiaume, Benoit; Macdonald, S. Ellen; Stadt, J. John
    • Ecological Applications, Vol. 26, Issue 5
    • DOI: 10.1890/15-0887

    Demographic compensation and tipping points in climate-induced range shifts
    journal, October 2010


    Predicting species responses to climate change: demography and climate microrefugia in California valley oak (Quercus lobata)
    journal, April 2012


    Range Shifts and Adaptive Responses to Quaternary Climate Change
    journal, April 2001


    Recruitment limitation of long-lived conifers: implications for climate change responses
    journal, May 2015

    • Kroiss, Steve J.; HilleRisLambers, Janneke
    • Ecology, Vol. 96, Issue 5
    • DOI: 10.1890/14-0595.1

    Forest structure and species traits mediate projected recruitment declines in western US tree species: Tree recruitment patterns in the western US
    journal, April 2015

    • Dobrowski, Solomon Z.; Swanson, Alan K.; Abatzoglou, John T.
    • Global Ecology and Biogeography, Vol. 24, Issue 8
    • DOI: 10.1111/geb.12302

    A world-wide study of high altitude treeline temperatures: Study of high altitude treeline temperatures
    journal, April 2004


    Critical temperatures for xylogenesis in conifers of cold climates
    journal, November 2008


    Spatiotemporal Influences of Climate on Altitudinal Treeline in Northern Patagonia
    journal, May 2004

    • Daniels, Lori D.; Veblen, Thomas T.
    • Ecology, Vol. 85, Issue 5
    • DOI: 10.1890/03-0092

    Proactive intervention to sustain high-elevation pine ecosystems threatened by white pine blister rust
    journal, October 2007


    Subalpine forest damage from a severe windstorm in northern Colorado
    journal, December 2001

    • Veblen, Thomas T.; Kulakowski, Dominik; Eisenhart, Karen S.
    • Canadian Journal of Forest Research, Vol. 31, Issue 12
    • DOI: 10.1139/x01-151

    Extinction debt of high-mountain plants under twenty-first-century climate change
    journal, May 2012

    • Dullinger, Stefan; Gattringer, Andreas; Thuiller, Wilfried
    • Nature Climate Change, Vol. 2, Issue 8
    • DOI: 10.1038/nclimate1514

    Uncertainty in assessing the impacts of global change with coupled dynamic species distribution and population models
    journal, December 2012

    • Conlisk, Erin; Syphard, Alexandra D.; Franklin, Janet
    • Global Change Biology, Vol. 19, Issue 3
    • DOI: 10.1111/gcb.12090

    Climate change and plant regeneration from seed: CLIMATE CHANGE AND PLANT REGENERATION
    journal, January 2011


    Failure to migrate: lack of tree range expansion in response to climate change
    journal, November 2011


    Modelling the effect of habitat fragmentation on climate-driven migration of European forest understorey plants
    journal, August 2015

    • Dullinger, Stefan; Dendoncker, Nicolas; Gattringer, Andreas
    • Diversity and Distributions, Vol. 21, Issue 12
    • DOI: 10.1111/ddi.12370

    Life on the edge for limber pine: Seed dispersal within a peripheral population
    journal, January 2005


    Climate Change and Bark Beetles of the Western United States and Canada: Direct and Indirect Effects
    journal, September 2010

    • Bentz, Barbara J.; Régnière, Jacques; Fettig, Christopher J.
    • BioScience, Vol. 60, Issue 8
    • DOI: 10.1525/bio.2010.60.8.6

    Microsite differentiation among conifer species during seedling establishment at alpine treeline
    journal, January 2006


    Widespread Increase of Tree Mortality Rates in the Western United States
    journal, January 2009


    Forecasting Distributional Responses of Limber Pine to Climate Change at Management-Relevant Scales in Rocky Mountain National Park
    journal, December 2013


    Climate warming feedback from mountain birch forest expansion: reduced albedo dominates carbon uptake
    journal, May 2014

    • de Wit, Heleen A.; Bryn, Anders; Hofgaard, Annika
    • Global Change Biology, Vol. 20, Issue 7
    • DOI: 10.1111/gcb.12483

    Species interactions slow warming-induced upward shifts of treelines on the Tibetan Plateau
    journal, April 2016

    • Liang, Eryuan; Wang, Yafeng; Piao, Shilong
    • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 113, Issue 16
    • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1520582113

    Conifer seedling recruitment across a gradient from forest to alpine tundra: effects of species, provenance, and site
    journal, December 2013


    Recent unprecedented tree-ring growth in bristlecone pine at the highest elevations and possible causes
    journal, November 2009

    • Salzer, M. W.; Hughes, M. K.; Bunn, A. G.
    • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 106, Issue 48
    • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0903029106

    Soil moisture controls Engelmann spruce ( Picea engelmannii ) seedling carbon balance and survivorship at timberline in Utah, USA
    journal, December 2015

    • Gill, Richard A.; Campbell, Colin S.; Karlinsey, Sarah M.
    • Canadian Journal of Forest Research, Vol. 45, Issue 12
    • DOI: 10.1139/cjfr-2015-0239

    Seed origin and warming constrain lodgepole pine recruitment, slowing the pace of population range shifts
    journal, September 2017

    • Conlisk, Erin; Castanha, Cristina; Germino, Matthew J.
    • Global Change Biology, Vol. 24, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13840

    Empirical Analyses of Plant‐Climate Relationships for the Western United States
    journal, November 2006

    • Rehfeldt, Gerald E.; Crookston, Nicholas L.; Warwell, Marcus V.
    • International Journal of Plant Sciences, Vol. 167, Issue 6
    • DOI: 10.1086/507711

    Warming and provenance limit tree recruitment across and beyond the elevation range of subalpine forest
    journal, December 2016

    • Kueppers, Lara M.; Conlisk, Erin; Castanha, Cristina
    • Global Change Biology, Vol. 23, Issue 6
    • DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13561

    A model-data comparison of Holocene timberline changes in the Swiss Alps reveals past and future drivers of mountain forest dynamics
    journal, April 2014

    • Schwörer, Christoph; Henne, Paul D.; Tinner, Willy
    • Global Change Biology, Vol. 20, Issue 5
    • DOI: 10.1111/gcb.12456

    Holocene Treeline Fluctuations in the Northern San Juan Mountains, Colorado, U.S.A., as Indicated by Radiocarbon-Dated Conifer Wood
    journal, August 1991

    • Carrara, Paul E.; Trimble, Deborah A.; Rubin, Meyer
    • Arctic and Alpine Research, Vol. 23, Issue 3
    • DOI: 10.2307/1551601

    Ecology and the ratchet of events: Climate variability, niche dimensions, and species distributions
    journal, September 2009

    • Jackson, S. T.; Betancourt, J. L.; Booth, R. K.
    • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 106, Issue Supplement_2
    • DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0901644106

    Are treelines advancing? A global meta-analysis of treeline response to climate warming
    journal, October 2009


    Data from: Declines in low-elevation subalpine tree populations outpace growth in high-elevation populations with warming
    dataset, June 2017

    • Conlisk, Erin; Castanha, Cristina; Germino, Matthew J.
    • Dryad Digital Repository-Supplementary information for journal article at DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12750, 1 ZIP file (812.0 Kb)
    • DOI: 10.5061/dryad.q1f65.2

    Expansion of subalpine woody vegetation over 40 years on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada
    journal, March 2016

    • Jackson, Michelle M.; Topp, Emmeline; Gergel, Sarah E.
    • Canadian Journal of Forest Research, Vol. 46, Issue 3
    • DOI: 10.1139/cjfr-2015-0186

    Influence of canopy structure and direct beam solar irradiance on snowmelt rates in a mixed conifer forest
    journal, August 2012


    Moisture rivals temperature in limiting photosynthesis by trees establishing beyond their cold-edge range limit under ambient and warmed conditions
    journal, April 2015

    • Moyes, Andrew B.; Germino, Matthew J.; Kueppers, Lara M.
    • New Phytologist, Vol. 207, Issue 4
    • DOI: 10.1111/nph.13422

    Drought induces spruce beetle ( Dendroctonus rufipennis ) outbreaks across northwestern Colorado
    journal, April 2014

    • Hart, Sarah J.; Veblen, Thomas T.; Eisenhart, Karen S.
    • Ecology, Vol. 95, Issue 4
    • DOI: 10.1890/13-0230.1

    Novel climates, no-analog communities, and ecological surprises
    journal, November 2007

    • Williams, John W.; Jackson, Stephen T.
    • Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, Vol. 5, Issue 9
    • DOI: 10.1890/070037

    Darcy's law predicts widespread forest mortality under climate warming
    journal, May 2015

    • McDowell, Nathan G.; Allen, Craig D.
    • Nature Climate Change, Vol. 5, Issue 7
    • DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2641

    Late-Holocene paleoclimate and treeline fluctuation in Wyoming’s Wind River Range, USA
    journal, January 2014


    Recent Plant Diversity Changes on Europe's Mountain Summits
    journal, April 2012


    Warming and the dependence of limber pine (Pinus flexilis) establishment on summer soil moisture within and above its current elevation range
    journal, August 2012


    Phenology is a major determinant of tree species range
    journal, September 2001


    Does carbon storage limit tree growth?
    journal, October 2013

    • Palacio, Sara; Hoch, Günter; Sala, Anna
    • New Phytologist, Vol. 201, Issue 4
    • DOI: 10.1111/nph.12602

    Permanent forest plots show accelerating tree mortality in subalpine forests of the Colorado Front Range from 1982 to 2013
    journal, April 2015


    Continent-wide response of mountain vegetation to climate change
    journal, January 2012

    • Gottfried, Michael; Pauli, Harald; Futschik, Andreas
    • Nature Climate Change, Vol. 2, Issue 2
    • DOI: 10.1038/nclimate1329

    Correlation and process in species distribution models: bridging a dichotomy: Bridging the correlation-process dichotomy
    journal, January 2012


    Conserving biodiversity under climate change: the rear edge matters: Rear edges and climate change
    journal, March 2005


    Population dynamics can be more important than physiological limits for determining range shifts under climate change
    journal, September 2013

    • Fordham, Damien A.; Mellin, Camille; Russell, Bayden D.
    • Global Change Biology, Vol. 19, Issue 10
    • DOI: 10.1111/gcb.12289

    Mountain Pine Beetle Develops an Unprecedented Summer Generation in Response to Climate Warming
    journal, May 2012

    • Mitton, Jeffry B.; Ferrenberg, Scott M.
    • The American Naturalist, Vol. 179, Issue 5
    • DOI: 10.1086/665007

    Biotic and abiotic drivers of tree seedling recruitment across an alpine treeline ecotone
    journal, July 2018


    Biotic and abiotic drivers of tree seedling recruitment across an alpine treeline ecotone
    journal, July 2018


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    • Conlisk, Erin; Castanha, Cristina; Germino, Matthew J.
    • Global Change Biology, Vol. 24, Issue 1
    • DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13840

      Figures/Tables have been extracted from DOE-funded journal article accepted manuscripts.