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Demographic and interaction lags govern the pace and outcome of plant community responses to 21st century climate change
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  • Sebastian Block,
  • Marc-Jacques Maechler,
  • Jake Alexander,
  • Loïc Pellissier,
  • Jonathan Levine
Sebastian Block
Princeton University

Corresponding Author:seblun@gmail.com

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Marc-Jacques Maechler
ETH Zurich Institute of Integrative Biology
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Jake Alexander
ETH Zürich
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Loïc Pellissier
ETH Zurich
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Jonathan Levine
Princeton Environmental Institute
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Forecasting the trajectories of species assemblages in response to ongoing climate change requires quantifying the time lags in the demographic and ecological processes through which climate impacts species' abundances. Since experimental climate manipulations are typically abrupt, the observed species responses may not match their responses to gradual climate change. We addressed this problem by transplanting alpine grassland turfs to lower elevations, recording species' demographic responses to climate and competition, and using these data to parameterize community dynamics models forced by scenarios of gradual climate change. We found that shifts in community structure following an abrupt climate manipulation were not simply accelerated versions of shifts expected under gradual warming, especially when they missed the rise of species benefiting from moderate warming. Time lags in demography and species interactions controlled the pace and trajectory of changing species' abundances under simulated 21st century climate change, and thereby prevented immediate diversity loss.
24 Jan 2022Submitted to Ecology Letters
25 Jan 2022Submission Checks Completed
25 Jan 2022Assigned to Editor
27 Jan 2022Reviewer(s) Assigned
03 Mar 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
04 Mar 2022Editorial Decision: Revise Major
28 Mar 20221st Revision Received
29 Mar 2022Assigned to Editor
29 Mar 2022Submission Checks Completed
06 Apr 2022Reviewer(s) Assigned
02 May 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
06 May 2022Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
12 May 20222nd Revision Received
13 May 2022Submission Checks Completed
13 May 2022Assigned to Editor
23 May 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
23 May 2022Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
24 Jun 20223rd Revision Received
27 Jun 2022Assigned to Editor
27 Jun 2022Submission Checks Completed
03 Jul 2022Editorial Decision: Accept