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Title: Assessing the environmental and dispersal controls on Fagus grandifolia distributions in the Great Lakes region
Abstract Aim

This paper assesses the relative importance of environmental filtering and dispersal limitations as controls on the western range limit ofFagus grandifolia, a common mesic late‐successional tree species in the easternUnited States. We also test for differences in species–environment relationships between range‐edge populations ofF. grandifoliain eastern Wisconsin and core populations in Michigan. Because environmental conditions between the states differ moderately, while in Michigan dispersal presumably no longer limitsF. grandifoliadistributions,F. grandifoliaoffers a classic case study for biogeographers, foresters, and palaeoecologists interested in understanding processes governing species range limits.

Location

Wisconsin and Michigan,USA.

Taxon

Fagus grandifolia.

Methods

This study combines historical datasets ofF. grandifoliafrom the Public Land Survey, environmental covariates from soil maps and historical climate data, three spatial scenarios of dispersal limitation, and five species distribution models (SDMs). We test dispersal limitation and environmental filtering hypotheses by assessingSDMtransferability between core and edge populations, measuring the importance of dispersal and environmental predictors, and using a residual autocovariate model to test for spatial processes not represented by these predictors.

Results

Fagus grandifoliapresence was best predicted by total snowfall in Michigan and by dispersal, summer precipitation, and potential evapotranspiration (PET) in Wisconsin. Following the addition of dispersal as a predictor, most Wisconsin models improved and spatial autocorrelation effects largely disappeared. Transferability between core and edge populations was moderate to low.

Main conclusions

Both environmental and dispersal limitations appear to govern the western range limit ofF. grandifolia. Species–environment relationships differ between range‐edge and core populations, suggesting either stronger environmental filtering at the range edge or fine‐scale, spatially varying interactions between environmental factors governing moisture availability in core populations. Although lakes, like Lake Michigan, both moderate regional climates and act as dispersal barriers, these effects can be disentangled through the joint analysis ofSDMs and historic observational datasets.

 
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NSF-PAR ID:
10462677
Author(s) / Creator(s):
 ;  ;  
Publisher / Repository:
Wiley-Blackwell
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Journal of Biogeography
Volume:
46
Issue:
2
ISSN:
0305-0270
Page Range / eLocation ID:
p. 405-419
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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