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The contribution of cold air pooling to the distribution of a rare and endemic plant of the Alps


Patsiou, Theofania S; Conti, Elena; Theodoridis, Spyros; Randin, Christophe F (2017). The contribution of cold air pooling to the distribution of a rare and endemic plant of the Alps. Plant Ecology and Diversity, 10(1):29-42.

Abstract

Background: The topographic complexity typical of alpine landscapes creates a variety of (micro)climatic conditions that may mitigate the effects of a warming climate on alpine plants via such mechanisms as cold air pooling (CAP).
Aims: Our primary objectives were to (1) assess whether landscape potential for CAP as a predictor improved species distribution models (SDMs) projections and (2) quantify the impact of CAP on the microclimate experienced by alpine plants compared to the macroclimate.
Methods: We selected the Maritime Alps as our study area, located on the French–Italian border, and its rare endemic plant, Saxifraga florulenta, as model taxon. We generated a spatial layer in GIS (Geographic Information System) that reflected the potential of the landscape for CAP and ran five SDM algorithms with and without CAP layer as a predictor. Second, we recorded the microclimate plants experience with temperature loggers.
Results: CAP as a predictor decreased the omission error of SDMs, mostly at low and mid elevations, where topography may buffer extreme temperatures, resulting in a more stable microclimate compared to macroclimate.
Conclusions: We have shown that plants in an alpine landscape may be less exposed to climate warming than predicted by macroclimate. Topo-climatic GIS layers for SDM projections in mountain environments should integrate such physical mechanisms as CAP.

Abstract

Background: The topographic complexity typical of alpine landscapes creates a variety of (micro)climatic conditions that may mitigate the effects of a warming climate on alpine plants via such mechanisms as cold air pooling (CAP).
Aims: Our primary objectives were to (1) assess whether landscape potential for CAP as a predictor improved species distribution models (SDMs) projections and (2) quantify the impact of CAP on the microclimate experienced by alpine plants compared to the macroclimate.
Methods: We selected the Maritime Alps as our study area, located on the French–Italian border, and its rare endemic plant, Saxifraga florulenta, as model taxon. We generated a spatial layer in GIS (Geographic Information System) that reflected the potential of the landscape for CAP and ran five SDM algorithms with and without CAP layer as a predictor. Second, we recorded the microclimate plants experience with temperature loggers.
Results: CAP as a predictor decreased the omission error of SDMs, mostly at low and mid elevations, where topography may buffer extreme temperatures, resulting in a more stable microclimate compared to macroclimate.
Conclusions: We have shown that plants in an alpine landscape may be less exposed to climate warming than predicted by macroclimate. Topo-climatic GIS layers for SDM projections in mountain environments should integrate such physical mechanisms as CAP.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Systematic and Evolutionary Botany
07 Faculty of Science > Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center
Dewey Decimal Classification:580 Plants (Botany)
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:27 Mar 2017 09:19
Last Modified:23 Nov 2017 08:59
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:1755-0874
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/17550874.2017.1302997

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