skip to main content

Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Kling, Matthew M."

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Wind disperses the pollen and seeds of many plants, but little is known about whether and how it shapes large-scale landscape genetic patterns. We address this question by a synthesis and reanalysis of genetic data from more than 1,900 populations of 97 tree and shrub species around the world, using a newly developed framework for modeling long-term landscape connectivity by wind currents. We show that wind shapes three independent aspects of landscape genetics in plants with wind pollination or seed dispersal: populations linked by stronger winds are more genetically similar, populations linked by directionally imbalanced winds exhibit asymmetric gene flow ratios, and downwind populations have higher genetic diversity. For each of these distinct hypotheses, partial correlations between the respective wind and genetic metrics (controlling for distance and climate) are positive for a significant majority of wind-dispersed or wind-pollinated genetic data sets and increase significantly across functional groups expected to be increasingly influenced by wind. Together, these results indicate that the geography of both wind strength and wind direction play important roles in shaping large-scale genetic patterns across the world’s forests. These findings have implications for various aspects of basic plant ecology and evolution, as well as the response of biodiversity to future global change.

    more » « less
  2. null (Ed.)
    Quantitative knowledge of xylem physical tolerance limits to dehydration is essential to understanding plant drought tolerance but is lacking in many long-vessel angiosperms. We examine the hypothesis that a fundamental association between sustained xylem water transport and downstream tissue function should select for xylem that avoids embolism in long-vessel trees by quantifying xylem capacity to withstand air entry of western North American oaks ( Quercus spp.). Optical visualization showed that 50% of embolism occurs at water potentials below −2.7 MPa in all 19 species, and −6.6 MPa in the most resistant species. By mapping the evolution of xylem vulnerability to embolism onto a fossil-dated phylogeny of the western North American oaks, we found large differences between clades (sections) while closely related species within each clade vary little in their capacity to withstand air entry. Phylogenetic conservatism in xylem physical tolerance, together with a significant correlation between species distributions along rainfall gradients and their dehydration tolerance, suggests that closely related species occupy similar climatic niches and that species' geographic ranges may have shifted along aridity gradients in accordance with their physical tolerance. Such trends, coupled with evolutionary associations between capacity to withstand xylem embolism and other hydraulic-related traits, yield wide margins of safety against embolism in oaks from diverse habitats. Evolved responses of the vascular system to aridity support the embolism avoidance hypothesis and reveal the importance of quantifying plant capacity to withstand xylem embolism for understanding function and biogeography of some of the Northern Hemisphere’s most ecologically and economically important plants. 
    more » « less
  3. Abstract

    Observed ecological responses to climate change are highly individualistic across species and locations, and understanding the drivers of this variability is essential for management and conservation efforts. While it is clear that differences in exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity all contribute to heterogeneity in climate change vulnerability, predicting these features at macroecological scales remains a critical challenge. We explore multiple drivers of heterogeneous vulnerability across the distributions of 96 vegetation types of the ecologically diverse western US, using data on observed climate trends from 1948 to 2014 to highlight emerging patterns of change. We ask three novel questions about factors potentially shaping vulnerability across the region: (a) How does sensitivity to different climate variables vary geographically and across vegetation classes? (b) How do multivariate climate exposure patterns interact with these sensitivities to shape vulnerability patterns? (c) How different are these vulnerability patterns according to three widely implemented vulnerability paradigms—niche novelty (decline in modeled suitability), temporal novelty (standardized anomaly), and spatial novelty (inbound climate velocity)—each of which uses a distinct frame of reference to quantify climate departure? We propose that considering these three novelty paradigms in combination could help improve our understanding and prediction of heterogeneous climate change responses, and we discuss the distinct climate adaptation strategies connected with different combinations of high and low novelty across the three metrics. Our results reveal a diverse mosaic of climate change vulnerability signatures across the region's plant communities. Each of the above factors contributes strongly to this heterogeneity: climate variable sensitivity exhibits clear patterns across vegetation types, multivariate climate change data reveal highly diverse exposure signatures across locations, and the three novelty paradigms diverge widely in their climate change vulnerability predictions. Together, these results shed light on potential drivers of individualistic climate change responses and may help to inform effective management strategies.

    more » « less
  4. Abstract

    The impacts of climate change have re‐energized interest in understanding the role of climate in setting species geographic range edges. Despite the strong focus on species' distributions in ecology and evolution, defining a species range edge is theoretically and empirically difficult. The challenge of determining a range edge and its relationship to climate is in part driven by the nested nature of geography and the multidimensionality of climate, which together generate complex patterns of both climate and biotic distributions across landscapes. Because range‐limiting processes occur in both geographic and climate space, the relationship between these two spaces plays a critical role in setting range limits. With both conceptual and empirical support, we argue that three factors—climate heterogeneity, collinearity among climate variables, and spatial scale—interact to shape the spatial structure of range edges along climate gradients, and we discuss several ways that these factors influence the stability of species range edges with a changing climate. We demonstrate that geographic and climate edges are often not concordant across species ranges. Furthermore, high climate heterogeneity and low climate collinearity across landscapes increase the spectrum of possible relationships between geographic and climatic space, suggesting that geographic range edges and climatic niche limits correspond less frequently than we may expect. More empirical explorations of how the complexity of real landscapes shapes the ecological and evolutionary processes that determine species range edges will advance the development of range limit theory and its applications to biodiversity conservation in the context of changing climate.

    more » « less
  5. Premise of the Study

    Herbarium specimens are increasingly used as records of plant flowering phenology. However, most herbarium‐based studies on plant phenology focus on taxa from temperate regions. Here, we explore flowering phenologic responses to climate in the subtropical plant genusProtea(Proteaceae), an iconic group of plants that flower year‐round and are endemic to subtropical Africa.


    We present a novel, circular sliding window approach to investigate phenological patterns developed for species with year‐round flowering. We employ our method to evaluate the extent to which site‐to‐site and year‐to‐year variation in temperature and precipitation affect flowering dates using a database of 1727 herbarium records of 25Proteaspecies. We also explore phylogenetic conservatism in flowering phenology.


    We show that herbarium data combined with our sliding window approach successfully captured independently reported flowering phenology patterns (r= 0.93). Both warmer sites and warmer years were associated with earlier flowering of 3–5 days/°C, whereas precipitation variation had no significant effect on flowering phenology. Although species vary widely in phenological responsiveness, responses are phylogenetically conserved, with closely related species tending to shift flowering similarly with increasing temperature.


    Our results point to climate‐responsive phenology for this important plant genus and indicate that the subtropical, aseasonally flowering genusProteahas temperature‐driven flowering responses that are remarkably similar to those of better‐studied northern temperate plant species, suggesting a generality across biomes that has not been described elsewhere.

    more » « less