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Data from: Heterogeneous distributional responses to climate warming: evidence from rodents along a subtropical elevational gradient

Citation

Zhixin, Wen et al. (2017), Data from: Heterogeneous distributional responses to climate warming: evidence from rodents along a subtropical elevational gradient, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.1q413

Abstract

Background: Understanding whether species' elevational range is shifting in response to directional changes in climate and whether there is a predictable pattern in that response is one of the major challenges in ecology. However, so far very little is known about the distributional responses of subtropical species to climate change, especially for small mammals. In this study, we examined the elevational range shifts at three range points (upper and lower range limits and abundance-weighted range centre) of rodents over a 30-year period (1986 to 2014-2015), in a subtropical forest of Southwest China. We also examined the influences of four ecological traits (body mass, habitat breadth, diet and daily activity pattern) on the upslope shifts in species' abundance-weighted range centres. Results: Despite the warming trend between 1986 and 2015, the eleven rodent species in analysis displayed heterogeneous dynamics at each of the three range points. Species which have larger body sizes and narrower habitat breadths, show both diurnal and nocturnal activities and more specialized dietary requirements, are more likely to exhibit upslope shifts in abundance-weighted range centres. Conclusions: Species' distributional responses can be heterogeneous even though there are directional changes in climate. Our study indicates that climate-induced alleviation of competition and lag in response may potentially drive species' range shift, which may not conform to the expectation from climate change. Difference in traits can lead to different range dynamics. Our study also illustrates the merit of multi-faceted assessment in studying elevational range shifts.

Usage Notes

Location

Sichuan Province
Wolong Nature Reserve