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Journal Articles Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences Year : 2010

Why does phenology drive species distribution?


Despite the numerous studies which have been conducted during the past decade on species ranges and their relationship to the environment, our understanding of how environmental conditions shape species distribution is still far from complete. Yet, some process-based species distribution models have been able to simulate plants and insects distribution at a global scale. These models strongly rely on the completion of the annual cycle of the species and therefore on their accomplished phenology. In particular, they have shown that the northern limit of species' ranges appears to be caused mainly by the inability to undergo full fruit maturation, while the southern limit appears to be caused by the inability to flower or unfold leaves owing to a lack of chilling temperatures that are necessary to break bud dormancy. I discuss here why phenology is a key adaptive trait in shaping species distribution using mostly examples from plant species, which have been the most documented. After discussing how phenology is involved in fitness and why it is an adaptive trait susceptible to evolve quickly in changing climate conditions, I describe how phenology is related to fitness in species distribution process-based models and discuss the fate of species under climate change scenarios using model projections and experimental or field studies from the literature.
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hal-03780508 , version 1 (21-09-2022)



Isabelle Chuine. Why does phenology drive species distribution?. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 2010, 365 (1555), pp.3149-3160. ⟨10.1098/rstb.2010.0142⟩. ⟨hal-03780508⟩
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