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Effect of dispersal ability on plants’ range shifts caused by contemporary climate change

Gijssel, Lisette van (2018) Effect of dispersal ability on plants’ range shifts caused by contemporary climate change. Bachelor's Thesis, Biology.

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Abstract

Because of the climate warming during the 20th century, species shift their range to track their preferred climates (Parmesan & Yohe, 2003). However, while some species already show considerable range shifts, many species have not (yet) shifted their range (Lenoir et al., 2008). There is growing interest into whether certain plant traits, such as dispersal ability, could predict which species are able to move their range (Angert et al., 2011). Next to research directly examining the effect of dispersal traits on range shifts, research examining the effect of traits on plants’ range size and range filling (the extent to which a species inhibits its potential area) can give information about what traits affect range shift ability, since these traits could also help a species to successfully establish in a new habitat (Estrada et al., 2016). However, since the actual seed dispersal distance of many species is not known, studies often use simple plant traits to estimate dispersal capacity (Vittoz & Engler, 2007). By looking at studies examining the effect of dispersal traits on range shifts, range size and range filling, this paper examines which traits are used to determine dispersal capacity, and whether current evidence suggests that these traits indeed influence range shift ability. Most studies reviewed found that dispersal modes which reach longer distances, such as dispersal by wind or animals, increase range shift ability in plants. However, evidence for an effect of seed size or seed mass on range shift ability is mixed. This paper gives insight in which dispersal traits influence range shifts, and gives direction as to which dispersal traits need more research.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's Thesis)
Supervisor:
Supervisor nameSupervisor E mail
Elzenga, J.T.M.J.T.M.Elzenga@rug.nl
Degree programme: Biology
Thesis type: Bachelor's Thesis
Language: Dutch
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2018
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2018 12:52
URI: http://fse.studenttheses.ub.rug.nl/id/eprint/18350

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