Climate change and elevational diversity capacity: do weedy species take up the slack?

Chown, Steven L., Le Roux, Peter C., Ramaswiela, Tshililo, Kalwij, Jesse M., Shaw, Justine D. and McGeoch, Melodie A. (2013) Climate change and elevational diversity capacity: do weedy species take up the slack?. Biology Letters, 9 1: . doi:10.1098/rsbl.2012.0806

Author Chown, Steven L.
Le Roux, Peter C.
Ramaswiela, Tshililo
Kalwij, Jesse M.
Shaw, Justine D.
McGeoch, Melodie A.
Title Climate change and elevational diversity capacity: do weedy species take up the slack?
Journal name Biology Letters   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1744-957X
Publication date 2013-02-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1098/rsbl.2012.0806
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 9
Issue 1
Total pages 4
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher The Royal Society Publishing
Language eng
Abstract Climate change leads to species range shifts and consequently to changes in diversity. For many systems, increases in diversity capacity have been forecast, with spare capacity to be taken up by a pool of weedy species moved around by humans. Few tests of this hypothesis have been undertaken, and in many temperate systems, climate change impacts may be confounded by simultaneous increases in human-related disturbance, which also promote weedy species. Areas to which weedy species are being introduced, but with little human disturbance, are therefore ideal for testing the idea. We make predictions about how such diversity capacity increases play out across elevational gradients in non-water-limited systems. Then, using modern and historical data on the elevational range of indigenous and naturalized alien vascular plant species from the relatively undisturbed sub-Antarctic Marion Island, we show that alien species have contributed significantly to filling available diversity capacity and that increases in energy availability rather than disturbance are the probable underlying cause.
Keyword Climate change
Elevational gradients
Species-energy theory
Species richness
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ
Additional Notes Article number 20120806.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Biological Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 11 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 19 May 2014, 22:08:49 EST by Justine Shaw on behalf of School of Biological Sciences