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Abstract
Recent global warming is acting across marine, freshwater, and terrestrial ecosystems to favor species adapted to warmer conditions and/or reduce the abundance of cold-adapted organisms (i.e., "thermophilization" of communities). Lack of community responses to increased temperature, however, has also been reported for several taxa and regions, suggesting that "climatic lags" may be frequent. Here we show that microclimatic effects brought about by forest canopy closure can buffer biotic responses to macroclimate warming, thus explaining an apparent climatic lag. Using data from 1,409 vegetation plots in European and North American temperate forests, each surveyed at least twice over an interval of 12-67 y, we document significant thermophilization of ground-layer plant communities. These changes reflect concurrent declines in species adapted to cooler conditions and increases in species adapted to warmer conditions. However, thermophilization, particularly the increase of warm-adapted species, is attenuated in forests whose canopies have become denser, probably reflecting cooler growing-season ground temperatures via increased shading. As standing stocks of trees have increased in many temperate forests in recent decades, local microclimatic effects may commonly be moderating the impacts of macroclimate warming on forest understories. Conversely, increases in harvesting woody biomass-e.g., for bioenergy-may open forest canopies and accelerate thermophilization of temperate forest biodiversity.
Keywords
SCALE, forest management, DEBT, ECOSYSTEM, VEGETATION, COMMUNITIES, FOREST, RECENT CLIMATE-CHANGE, range shifts, climatic debt, understory, climate change

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

Chicago
De Frenne, Pieter, Francisco Rodríguez-Sánchez, David Anthony Coomes, Lander Baeten, Gorik Verstraeten, Mark Vellend, Markus Bernhardt-Römermann, et al. 2013. “Microclimate Moderates Plant Responses to Macroclimate Warming.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 110 (46): 18561–18565.
APA
De Frenne, P., Rodríguez-Sánchez, F., Coomes, D. A., Baeten, L., Verstraeten, G., Vellend, M., Bernhardt-Römermann, M., et al. (2013). Microclimate moderates plant responses to macroclimate warming. PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 110(46), 18561–18565.
Vancouver
1.
De Frenne P, Rodríguez-Sánchez F, Coomes DA, Baeten L, Verstraeten G, Vellend M, et al. Microclimate moderates plant responses to macroclimate warming. PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. 2013;110(46):18561–5.
MLA
De Frenne, Pieter, Francisco Rodríguez-Sánchez, David Anthony Coomes, et al. “Microclimate Moderates Plant Responses to Macroclimate Warming.” PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 110.46 (2013): 18561–18565. Print.
@article{4227096,
  abstract     = {Recent global warming is acting across marine, freshwater, and terrestrial ecosystems to favor species adapted to warmer conditions and/or reduce the abundance of cold-adapted organisms (i.e., {\textacutedbl}thermophilization{\textacutedbl} of communities). Lack of community responses to increased temperature, however, has also been reported for several taxa and regions, suggesting that {\textacutedbl}climatic lags{\textacutedbl} may be frequent. Here we show that microclimatic effects brought about by forest canopy closure can buffer biotic responses to macroclimate warming, thus explaining an apparent climatic lag. Using data from 1,409 vegetation plots in European and North American temperate forests, each surveyed at least twice over an interval of 12-67 y, we document significant thermophilization of ground-layer plant communities. These changes reflect concurrent declines in species adapted to cooler conditions and increases in species adapted to warmer conditions. However, thermophilization, particularly the increase of warm-adapted species, is attenuated in forests whose canopies have become denser, probably reflecting cooler growing-season ground temperatures via increased shading. As standing stocks of trees have increased in many temperate forests in recent decades, local microclimatic effects may commonly be moderating the impacts of macroclimate warming on forest understories. Conversely, increases in harvesting woody biomass-e.g., for bioenergy-may open forest canopies and accelerate thermophilization of temperate forest biodiversity.},
  author       = {De Frenne, Pieter and Rodr{\'i}guez-S{\'a}nchez, Francisco and Coomes, David Anthony and Baeten, Lander and Verstraeten, Gorik and Vellend, Mark and Bernhardt-R{\"o}mermann, Markus and Brown, Carissa D and Brunet, J{\"o}rg and Cornelis, Johnny and Decocq, Guillaume M and Dierschke, Hartmut and Eriksson, Ove and Gilliam, Frank S and H{\'e}dl, Radim and Heinken, Thilo and Hermy, Martin and Hommel, Patrick and Jenkins, Michael A and Kelly, Daniel L and Kirby, Keith J and Mitchell, Fraser JG and Naaf, Tobias and Newman, Miles and Peterken, George and Pet\v{r}{\'i}k, Petr and Schultz, Jan and Sonnier, Gr{\'e}gory and Van Calster, Hans and Waller, Donald M and Walther, Gian-Reto and White, Peter S and Woods, Kerry D and Wulf, Monika and Graae, Bente Jessen and Verheyen, Kris},
  issn         = {0027-8424},
  journal      = {PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA},
  keyword      = {SCALE,forest management,DEBT,ECOSYSTEM,VEGETATION,COMMUNITIES,FOREST,RECENT CLIMATE-CHANGE,range shifts,climatic debt,understory,climate change},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {46},
  pages        = {18561--18565},
  title        = {Microclimate moderates plant responses to macroclimate warming},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1311190110},
  volume       = {110},
  year         = {2013},
}

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