References – Species Redistribution

  • Anderson, J. T., & Wadgymar, S. M. (2020). Climate change disrupts local adaptation and favours upslope migration. Ecology letters23(1), 181-192. (Abstract).

Selected quote: “Local adaptation to historical conditions could increase vulnerability to climate change, even for geographically widespread species.”

Comment: Native plants from local ecotypes are often promoted as the best choice for home gardens. This study, and many others, show that plants locally adapted to historical conditions may be less suitable than non-native or non-local selections in a changed climate.

  • Browne, L., Wright, J. W., Fitz-Gibbon, S., Gugger, P. F., & Sork, V. L. (2019). Adaptational lag to temperature in valley oak (Quercus lobata) can be mitigated by genome-informed assisted gene flow. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences116(50), 25179-25185. Full Article

“These results illustrate that the belief of local adaptation underlying many management and conservation practices, such as using local seed sources for restoration, may not hold for some species. If contemporary adaptational lag is commonplace, we will need new approaches to help alleviate predicted negative consequences of climate warming on natural systems. We present one such approach, “genome-informed assisted gene flow,” which optimally matches individuals to future climates based on genotype–phenotype–environment associations.”

  • Davis, K. T., Dobrowski, S. Z., Higuera, P. E., Holden, Z. A., Veblen, T. T., Rother, M. T., … & Maneta, M. P. (2019). Wildfires and climate change push low-elevation forests across a critical climate threshold for tree regeneration. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences116(13), 6193-6198. Full Article.

Selected quote: “. . . our results demonstrate that climate change combined with high severity fire is leading to increasingly fewer opportunities for seedlings to establish after wildfires and may lead to ecosystem transitions in low-elevation ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir forests across the western United States.”

Comments: Entire ecosystems are transitioning to different states because of climate change. Managed landscapes (e.g. home gardens) can be manipulated to adapt to such changes up to a point. For example, we can use irrigation in dry spells. However, it is prudent to fortify the resilience of home gardens with a diverse pallette of plants that are adapted to conditions other than historical norms. In other words, native plants of local ecotypes cannot alone provide the needed diversity.