Abstract Detail

Dynamics and Demography of Alpine Islands

Richman, Sarah [1], Levine, Jonathan [2], Stefan, Laura [3], Johnson, Christopher [3].

Experimental range shifts drive alpine plant-pollinator community reassembly and reduce female plant fitness.

Climate change is driving species’ range shifts, which are in turn disrupting species interactions due to species-specific differences in their abilities to migrate along with changes in climate. We experimentally evaluated the consequences of mismatched range shifts in an alpine plant-pollinator community by transplanting a high-elevation plant community along an elevational gradient to mimic increases in temperature consistent with predicted climate change. We ask how plant species that fail to migrate interact with novel low-elevation pollinator communities, and how these novel plant-pollinator interactions affect plant reproduction. We found that pollinator communities differed substantially across the elevation/temperature gradient. Contrary to the expectation that floral visitation would increase with temperature (decrease with elevation), visitation rate peaked under intermediate warming (at intermediate elevations). In contrast, visitation rate generally increased with temperature for the native, lower-elevation plant communities into which the experimental high-elevation plant communities were embedded. For two of the three focal high-elevation plant species, reproduction declined at warmer sites. For these species, reproduction appears to be dependent upon pollinator identity such that reduced reproduction may be attributable to decreased visitation from key pollinator species at warmer sites. Reproduction in the third focal species appears to be driven by pollinator visitation rate. Plant life history differences in investment in pollinator attraction may explain the observed differences in reproductive costs linked to plant-pollinator asymmetry in a changing world. More broadly, our results provide a test case for predicting the ways in which species interactions will function as climate continues to warm.

1 - University of Nevada, Reno, Biology
2 - Princeton University , Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
3 - Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Z├╝rich, Institute of Integrative Biology

alpine flora
climate change
community ecology
floral traits
range shifts.

Presentation Type: Colloquium Presentations
Number: 0007
Abstract ID:192
Candidate for Awards:None

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