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Plant responses to climatic extremes : within-species variation equals among-species variation [Global Change Biology]

Keywords : intra-specific variation, inter-specific variation, extreme climatic events, disturbance, genetic diversity, niche models, provenance

par Frédéric Magné - publié le

Within-species and among-species differences in growth responses to a changing climate have been well documented, yet the relative magnitude of within-species vs. among-species variation has remained largely unexplored. This missing comparison impedes our ability to make general predictions of biodiversity change and to project future species distributions using models. We present a direct comparison of among- versus within-species variation in response to three of the main stresses anticipated with climate change : drought, warming and frost. Two earlier experiments had experimentally induced (1) summer drought and (2) spring frost for four common European grass species and their ecotypes from across Europe. To supplement existing data, a third experiment was carried out, to compare variation among species from different functional groups to within-species variation.(...)

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