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Journal Articles Biology Letters Year : 2019

Short-term climate-induced change in French plant communities


Latitudinal and altitudinal range shifts in response to climate change have been reported for numerous animal species, especially those with high dispersal capacities. In plants, the impact of climate change on species distribution or community composition has been documented mainly over long periods (decades) and in specific habitats, often torests. Here, We broaden the results of such long-term, focused studies by examining climate-driven changes in plant community composition over a large area (France) encompassing multiple habitat types and over a short period (2009-2017). To this end, eye measured mean community thermal preference, calculated as the community-weighted mean of the Ellenberg temperature indicator value, using data from a standardized participatory monitoring scheme. We report a rapid increase in the mean thermal preference of plant communities at national and regional scales., which we relate to climate change. This reshuffling of plant community composition corresponds to a relative increase in the abundance or warm - versus cold-adapted species. However, support for this trend was weaker when considering only the common species, including common annuals. Our results thus suggest tor the first time that the response of plant communities to climate change involves subtle changes affecting all species rare and common, which can nonetheless be detected over short time periods. Whether such changes are sufficient to cope with the current climate Warming remains to be ascertained.
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Dates and versions

hal-01851663 , version 1 (30-07-2018)
hal-01851663 , version 2 (14-09-2018)
hal-01851663 , version 3 (09-07-2019)



Gabrielle Martin, Vincent Devictor, Eric Motard, Nathalie Machon, Emmanuelle Porcher¹. Short-term climate-induced change in French plant communities. Biology Letters, 2019, 15 (7), ⟨10.1098/rsbl.2019.0280⟩. ⟨hal-01851663v3⟩
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