EEB 522 Seminar Series- Susan Harrison

Climate and Plant Community Diversity in Space and Time
Oct 12, 2023, 12:30 pm1:30 pm
Guyot 10
Open to public



Event Description

Climate shapes plant diversity over large spatial scales, with relatively warm and wet regions supporting greater numbers of species.  Some unresolved aspects of this relationship include what causes it, whether it permeates to smaller spatial scales, whether it is accompanied by patterns in functional and phylogenetic diversity as some hypotheses predict, and whether it is paralleled by climate-driven changes in diversity over time.  I will review several studies of Californian plants bearing on these questions. Across spatial scales and organizational levels, plant diversity is maximized in wetter (=more productive) climates, and at a single site, taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic diversity have declined over recent time.  These results are consistent with the tolerance and climatic niche conservatism hypotheses for climate-diversity relationships.   Also, I will briefly review evidence that communities on infertile soils are somewhat resistant to climate-driven changes.

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