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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2024
  2. Abstract

    Danthonia californicaBolander (Poaceae)is a native perennial bunchgrass commonly used in the restoration of prairie ecosystems in the western United States. Plants of this species simultaneously produce both chasmogamous (potentially outcrossed) and cleistogamous (obligately self‐fertilized) seeds. Restoration practitioners almost exclusively use chasmogamous seeds for outplanting, which are predicted to perform better in novel environments due to their greater genetic diversity. Meanwhile, cleistogamous seeds may exhibit greater local adaptation to the conditions in which the maternal plant exists. We performed a common garden experiment at two sites in the Willamette Valley, Oregon, to assess the influence of seed type and source population (eight populations from a latitudinal gradient) on seedling emergence and found no evidence of local adaptation for either seed type. Cleistogamous seeds outperformed chasmogamous seeds, regardless of whether seeds were sourced directly from the common gardens (local seeds) or other populations (nonlocal seeds). Furthermore, average seed weight had a strong positive effect on seedling emergence, despite the fact that chasmogamous seeds had significantly greater mass than cleistogamous seeds. At one common garden, we observed that seeds of both types sourced from north of our planting site performed significantly better than local or southern‐sourced seeds. We also found a significant seed type and distance‐dependent interaction, with cleistogamous seedling emergence peaking approximately 125 km from the garden. These results suggest that cleistogamous seeds should be considered for greater use inD. californicarestoration.

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  5. Multiple, simultaneous environmental changes, in climatic/abiotic factors, interacting species, and direct human influences, are impacting natural populations and thus biodiversity, ecosystem services, and evolutionary trajectories. Determining whether the magnitudes of the population impacts of abiotic, biotic, and anthropogenic drivers differ, accounting for their direct effects and effects mediated through other drivers, would allow us to better predict population fates and design mitigation strategies. We compiled 644 paired values of the population growth rate ( λ ) from high and low levels of an identified driver from demographic studies of terrestrial plants. Among abiotic drivers, natural disturbance (not climate), and among biotic drivers, interactions with neighboring plants had the strongest effects on λ . However, when drivers were combined into the 3 main types, their average effects on λ did not differ. For the subset of studies that measured both the average and variability of the driver, λ was marginally more sensitive to 1 SD of change in abiotic drivers relative to biotic drivers, but sensitivity to biotic drivers was still substantial. Similar impact magnitudes for abiotic/biotic/anthropogenic drivers hold for plants of different growth forms, for different latitudinal zones, and for biomes characterized by harsher or milder abiotic conditions, suggesting that all 3 drivers have equivalent impacts across a variety of contexts. Thus, the best available information about the integrated effects of drivers on all demographic rates provides no justification for ignoring drivers of any of these 3 types when projecting ecological and evolutionary responses of populations and of biodiversity to environmental changes. 
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  6. Abstract

    Most studies of the ecological effects of climate change consider only a limited number of weather drivers that could affect populations, though we know that multiple weather drivers can simultaneously affect population growth rate. Multiple drivers could simultaneously increase/decrease one vital rate, or one may increase a vital rate while another decreases the same vital rate. Considering the impact of multiple weather drivers on vital rates is particularly important in a changing climate, in which correlations among drivers may not be preserved in the future. We used a long‐term dataset on the endangered red‐cockaded woodpecker (Dryobates borealis) to understand how multiple weather drivers jointly affect survival and reproductive vital rates and then assessed the contributions of individual weather drivers to historical trends in vital rates over time. We found that vital rates were often influenced by more than one weather driver and that weather drivers most commonly exerted opposing effects. For instance, some weather drivers increased vital rates over time, while others acted in the opposite direction, decreasing vital rates over time. Importantly, the historical correlations among weather drivers are almost always projected to change in the future climate, such that future trends in vital rates may not match historical trends. For example, we do not find historical trends in adult survival, but changing correlations among weather drivers could generate future trends in this vital rate. Our work provides an example of how multiple weather drivers can control a variety of vital rates and also illustrates how changes in the correlation structure of weather drivers through time might substantially affect future trends in individual and population performance.

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  7. Abstract

    Populations of many species are genetically adapted to local historical climate conditions. Yet most forecasts of species’ distributions under climate change have ignored local adaptation (LA), which may paint a false picture of how species will respond across their geographic ranges. We review recent studies that have incorporated intraspecific variation, a potential proxy for LA, into distribution forecasts, assess their strengths and weaknesses, and make recommendations for how to improve forecasts in the face of LA. The three methods used so far (species distribution models, response functions, and mechanistic models) reflect a trade‐off between data availability and the ability to rigorously demonstrate LA to climate. We identify key considerations for incorporating LA into distribution forecasts that are currently missing from many published studies, including testing the spatial scale and pattern of LA, the confounding effects of LA to nonclimatic or biotic drivers, and the need to incorporate empirically based dispersal or gene flow processes. We suggest approaches to better evaluate these aspects of LA and their effects on species‐level forecasts. In particular, we highlight demographic and dynamic evolutionary models as promising approaches to better integrate LA into forecasts, and emphasize the importance of independent model validation. Finally, we urge closer examination of how LA will alter the responses of central vs. marginal populations to allow stronger generalizations about changes in distribution and abundance in the face of LA.

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  8. Abstract

    With ongoing climate change, populations are expected to exhibit shifts in demographic performance that will alter where a species can persist. This presents unique challenges for managing plant populations and may require ongoing interventions, including in situ management or introduction into new locations. However, few studies have examined how climate change may affect plant demographic performance for a suite of species, or how effective management actions could be in mitigating climate change effects. Over the course of two experiments spanning 6 yr and four sites across a latitudinal gradient in the Pacific Northwest, United States, we manipulated temperature, precipitation, and disturbance intensity, and quantified effects on the demography of eight native annual prairie species. Each year we planted seeds and monitored germination, survival, and reproduction. We found that disturbance strongly influenced demographic performance and that seven of the eight species had increasingly poor performance with warmer conditions. Across species and sites, we observed 11% recruitment (the proportion of seeds planted that survived to reproduction) following high disturbance, but just 3.9% and 2.3% under intermediate and low disturbance, respectively. Moreover, mean seed production following high disturbance was often more than tenfold greater than under intermediate and low disturbance. Importantly, most species exhibited precipitous declines in their population growth rates (λ) under warmer‐than‐ambient experimental conditions and may require more frequent disturbance intervention to sustain populations.Aristida oligantha, a C4 grass, was the only species to have λ increase with warmer conditions. These results suggest that rising temperatures may cause many native annual plant species to decline, highlighting the urgency for adaptive management practices that facilitate their restoration or introduction to newly suitable locations. Frequent and intense disturbances are critical to reduce competitors and promote native annuals’ persistence, but even such efforts may prove futile under future climate regimes.

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