species conservation; range shifts; functional diversity; climate change; turnover; grassland communities; beta-diversity; phylogenetic diversity; species diversity
Pellissier Loïc, Albouy Camille, Bascompte Jordi, Farwig Nina, Graham Catherine, Loreau Michel, Maglianesi Maria Alejandra, Melián Carlos J., Pitteloud Camille, Roslin Tomas, Rohr Rudolf, Saavedra Serguei, Thuiller Wilfried, Woodward Guy, Zimmermann Niklaus E., Gravel Dominique (2017), Comparing species interaction networks along environmental gradientsNetworks along environmental gradients, in Biological Reviews
Gallien Laure, Zimmermann Niklaus E., Levine Jonathan M., Adler Peter B. (2017), The effects of intransitive competition on coexistence, in Ecology Letters
, 20(7), 791-800.
Serra-Varela María Jesús, Alía Ricardo, Daniels Rose Ruiz, Zimmermann Niklaus E., Gonzalo-Jiménez Julián, Grivet Delphine (2017), Assessing vulnerability of two Mediterranean conifers to support genetic conservation management in the face of climate change, in Diversity and Distributions
, 23(5), 507-516.
Gallien Laure, Altermatt Florian, Wiemers Martin, Schweiger Oliver, Zimmermann Niklaus E. (2017), Invasive plants threaten the least mobile butterflies in Switzerland, in Diversity and Distributions
, 23(2), 185-195.
Saladin Bianca, Leslie Andrew B., Wüest Rafael O., Litsios Glenn, Conti Elena, Salamin Nicolas, Zimmermann Niklaus E. (2017), Fossils matter: improved estimates of divergence times in Pinus reveal older diversification, in BMC Evolutionary Biology
, 17, 95.
Zurell Damaris, Zimmermann Niklaus E., Sattler Thomas, Nobis Michael P., Schröder Boris (2016), Effects of functional traits on the prediction accuracy of species richness models, in Diversity and Distributions
, 22(8), 905-917.
Zurell Damaris, Thuiller Wilfried, Pagel Jörn, Cabral Juliano S., Münkemüller Tamara, Gravel Dominique, Dullinger Stefan, Normand Signe, Schiffers Katja H., Moore Kara A., Zimmermann Niklaus E. (2016), Benchmarking novel approaches for modelling species range dynamics, in Global Change Biology
, 22(8), 2651-2664.
Gallien Laure, Saladin Bianca, Boucher Florian C., Richardson David M., Zimmermann Niklaus E. (2016), Does the legacy of historical biogeography shape current invasiveness in pines?, in NEW PHYTOLOGIST
, 209(3), 1096-1105.
Gallien Laure, Zurell Damaris, Zimmermann Niklaus E., Frequency and intensity of facilitation reveal opposing patterns along a stress gradient, in Ecology and Evolution
Climate change is accelerating, and is increasingly affecting species and ecosystems. One of the key questions we face is, how severely these effects will alter the geographic distribution of species, and the component communities, and how this will affect the heritage of whole biota, with their evolutionary relationships and functional trait variability. Nature conservation efforts have long attempted to protect (as many as possible of) threatened species. With rapidly increasing threats from climate and global change to large biota, we will have to expand our thinking and planning to ascertain that we conserve the evolutionary heritage, not simply species. This suggests that we do not necessarily only consider “rarity” of species, with similarly rare species being equally important for conservation. Instead, we shall also consider, how much independent evolutionary heritage and trait variation they contain. This is a rapidly growing field of research in ecology, but to date, no general conclusions can yet be drawn. We still lack detailed knowledge on how phylogenetic (representing evolutionary relatedness among species) and functional (representing trait variation among species) variability are structured along environmental, elevational or spatial gradients, how functional and phylogenetic patterns compare to species (taxonomic) diversity patterns, and how the relationships among these three levels of diversity can be integrated into a more compound planning for nature conservation.With this project we aim at analyzing (1) how species-specific, functional and phylogenetic patterns in plants are structured along environmental (climate, elevation) and spatial gradients, (2) how plant community structure changes along elevation gradients and how the spatial scale of analysis affects the found patterns, (3) how (species, phylogenetic and functional) diversity patterns are likely to respond to climate change, and (4) what the consequences are for nature conservation. We will analyze these questions by means of grassland vegetation data in Switzerland. Answering these questions will allow us to (i) single out important drivers of the evolution of floristic diversity, (ii) analyze the structuring of this diversity into communities in the European Alps, (iii) to evaluate, how climate change may affect these different diversity patterns in the future, and (iv) to explore pathways how this information can be used to extend conservation planning of grasslands in Switzerland. The proposed research, although ambitious, is feasible due to the excellent data basis readily available, which requires only minimal updating. Specifically, we have (a) a general, species-level phylogeny available encompassing all plants inhabiting the European Alps (according to Aeschimann’s Flora Alpina), (b) a large database of community level, and species distribution data from several national and project-specific databases, (c) a detailed, high-resolution (100m) database of climate and environmental predictor maps for current and possible future conditions, and (d) a large trait databases for Central European plants relevant for this project.