U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights


Low-Elevation Limber Pine Seedlings Consistently Outperform High-Elevation Seedlings
Published: July 14, 2011
Posted: November 02, 2011

Climate change is predicted to cause forest tree distributions to higher latitudes and elevations, which will require seedling recruitment beyond current forest boundaries. However, predicting the likelihood of successful plant establishment beyond current species' ranges under changing climate is complicated by the interaction of genetic and environmental controls on seedling establishment. DOE-supported scientists at the University of California, Merced, transplanted germinated seedlings of limber pine (Pinus flexilis) from high- and low-elevation sites in common gardens along a gradient from subalpine forest into the alpine zone and examined differences in physiology and morphology between and among seed source sites. The results of the study suggest that tree seedlings germinating from lower-elevation seed consistently outperformed seedlings from higher-elevation seed, even above the current tree line. This suggests that inherent (e.g., genetic) differences between seed source populations could be an important factor affecting species range expansions or shifts due to climate change.

Reference: Reinhardt, K., C. Castanha, M. J. Germino, and L. M. Kueppers. 2011. "Ecophysiolgical Variations in Two Provenances of Pinus flexilis Seedlings across an Elevation Gradient from Forest to Alpine," Tree Physiology 31, DOI:10.1093/treephys/tpr055. (Reference link)

Contact: Mike Kuperberg, SC-23.1, (301) 903-3281, Daniel Stover, SC-23.1, (301) 903-0289
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Terrestrial Ecosystem Science

Division: SC-23.1 Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, BER

 

BER supports basic research and scientific user facilities to advance DOE missions in energy and environment. More about BER

Recent Highlights

May 10, 2019
Quantifying Decision Uncertainty in Water Management via a Coupled Agent-Based Model
Considering risk perception can improve the representation of human decision-making processes in age [more...]

May 09, 2019
Projecting Global Urban Area Growth Through 2100 Based on Historical Time Series Data and Future Scenarios
Study provides country-specific urban area growth models and the first dataset on country-level urba [more...]

May 05, 2019
Calibrating Building Energy Demand Models to Refine Long-Term Energy Planning
A new, flexible calibration approach improved model accuracy in capturing year-to-year changes in bu [more...]

May 03, 2019
Calibration and Uncertainty Analysis of Demeter for Better Downscaling of Global Land Use and Land Cover Projections
Researchers improved the Demeter model’s performance by calibrating key parameters and establi [more...]

Apr 22, 2019
Representation of U.S. Warm Temperature Extremes in Global Climate Model Ensembles
Representation of warm temperature events varies considerably among global climate models, which has [more...]

List all highlights (possible long download time)