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Unequal contributions of species’ persistence and migration on plant communities’ response to climate warming throughout forests

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Community reshuffling is lagging behind climate warming for many taxa, thereby generating a climatic debt. However, only few studies have attempted to assess the underlying factors that explain this debt. Here I examine how effects of species’ migration and persistence on the current climatic debt vary spatially in forest herbaceous communities throughout the French territory. I show that Mediterranean communities are responding to climate warming through both high species’ migration and persistence effects, while alpine forest is the only ecosystem where species’ migration overtakes species’ persistence mechanisms. Such an approach seems promising in assessing the underlying mechanisms of the biodiversity response to climate change locally, and it can be applied for conservation issues to assess biodiversity sensitivity and optimize its management.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2019

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