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Do geographic, climatic or historical ranges differentiate the performance of central versus peripheral populations?
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Plant Ecology and Evolution.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Plant Ecology and Evolution.
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2015 (English)In: Global Ecology and Biogeography, ISSN 1466-822X, E-ISSN 1466-8238, Vol. 24, no 6, 611-620 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

AimThe centre-periphery hypothesis' (CPH) predicts that species performance (genetics, physiology, morphology, demography) will decline gradually from the centre towards the periphery of the geographic range. This hypothesis has been subjected to continuous debate since the 1980s, essentially because empirical studies have shown contrasting patterns. Moreover, it has been proposed that species performance might not be higher at the geographic range centre but rather at the environmental optimum or at sites presenting greater environmental stability in time. In this paper we re-evaluate the CPH by disentangling the effects of geographic, climatic and historical centrality/marginality on the demography of three widely distributed plant species and the genetic diversity of one of them. LocationEurope and North America. MethodsBased on a species distribution modelling approach, we test whether demographic parameters (vital rates, stochastic population growth rates, density) of three plant species of contrasting life-forms, and the genetic diversity of one of them, are higher at their geographic range centres, climatic optima or projected glacial refugia. ResultsWhile geographic, climatic and historical centre-periphery gradients are often not concordant, overall, none of them explain well the distribution of species demographic performance, whereas genetic diversity responds positively only to a historical centrality, related to post-glacial range dynamics. Main conclusionsTo our knowledge, this is the first assessment of the response of species performance to three centrality gradients, considering all the components of different species life cycles and genetic diversity information across continental distributions. Our results are inconsistent with the idea that geographically, climatically or historically marginal populations generally perform worse than central ones. We particularly emphasize the importance of adopting an interdisciplinary approach in order to understand the relative effects of contemporary versus historical and geographic versus ecological factors on the distribution of species performance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 24, no 6, 611-620 p.
Keyword [en]
Abundant-centre model, central-marginal hypothesis, climatic niche, genetic diversity, Last Glacial Maximum, latitude, plant demography, population performance, species distribution models
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URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-255052DOI: 10.1111/geb.12263ISI: 000354121600001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-255052DiVA: diva2:824837
Available from: 2015-06-22 Created: 2015-06-12 Last updated: 2015-06-22Bibliographically approved

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Villellas, JesusMorris, William F.
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Plant Ecology and Evolution
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