Ecological Responses of Bryophytes to Changing Climate
Gradstein, S. Robbert .
Responses of epiphytes to global warming.
THERE is ample evidence from animal groups (birds, butterflies, etc.) that geographical ranges of species sensible to temperature tend to shift to higher elevations or latitudes due to global warming. Little, however, is known about the impact of global warming on epiphytes. Herk et al. (2002) have produced first evidence for range shifts in lichen species of the Netherlands due to climate change, based on monitoring of changes in epiphytic lichen diversity over a period of almost 25 years. During the first fifteen years, lichen diversity changed significantly in relation to decreases in air pollution levels. Later, when air pollution changes became insignificant, changes in diversity correlated significantly with a measured rise in air temperature. Together with observed expansion of subtropical bryophyte species in Central Europe based on historical distribution records (Frahm & Klaus 1997), these data provide first evidence of the impact of twentieth century global warming on epiphytes. In tropical regions, known for their high diversity of epiphytes, an assessment of range changes due to global warming is hampered by lack of long-term distribution records and monitoring. Nevertheless, first evidence for the significance of epiphytes as indicators of global warming is arising from translocation of individual species and of species assemblages along temperature gradients in Costa Rica and the Andes of Bolivia (Nadkarni & Solano 2002; Jacome & Kessler 2005). Responses of epiphytes to translocation appeared to be species-specific; at the community level translocation to lower elevation resulted in significant changes in abundance patterns. The experiments are suggestive of changes in community structure and species composition of epiphytes as a result of global warming.
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1 - Institute of Plant Sciences, Department of Systematic Botany, Untere Karspüle 2, Göttingen, 37073, Germany
Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Date: Monday, July 31st, 2006
Time: 9:15 AM