How important is evolutionary potential for predicting tree species range shifts?

Romain Bertrand (1) , Léa David (2) , Robin Aguilée (3)

(1) CNRS, Centre for Biodiversity Theory and Modeling (CBTM), Station d’écologie expérimentale du CNRS, 2 route du CNRS, FR-09200 Moulis, France,
(2) Université de Toulouse, Laboratoire Evolution et Diversité Biologique (EDB, UMR 5174), 118 route de Narbonne, FR-31062 Toulouse, France,
(3) Université de Toulouse, Laboratoire Evolution et Diversité Biologique (EDB, UMR 5174), 118 route de Narbonne, FR-31062 Toulouse, France,

Facing climate changes, species can survive through migration allowing them to track the spatial redistribution of their favorable environmental conditions or/and through species adaptation and species tolerance to the new local environmental conditions. Consequences for species biogeography are contrasted ranging from species range shifts to species distribution stability over time. Currently, models predicting species range shifts have been improved by combining species-environment relationships and different ecological mechanisms in process-based models such as MigClim or simRShift. Such models are accounting for species migration and species tolerance to environmental changes, but the effect of evolutionary potential is still missing. This issue may be particularly important for plants species for which pollen and seed dispersal have contrasted effects on migration and in situ adaptation. Here, we combine the simRShift model and a quantitative genetic model accounting for the adaptive potential of plants, and we assess its effect for tree species range shifts simulations over the 21st century climate change. We find that evolutionary potential affects the simulated future distribution of Quercus pubescens only when it is maximal and when the climate starts to be constraining for the species, likely because this submediterranean species is already adapted to the future climate change. We hypothesize that the effect of evolutionary potential should increase with species sensitivity to climate change, and test for that by studying its impact on alpine and temperate tree species.

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