Data from: Performance of forest bryophytes with different geographical distributions transplanted across a topographically heterogeneous landscape
Dahlberg, C. Johan; Ehrlén, Johan; Hylander, Kristoffer (2015), Data from: Performance of forest bryophytes with different geographical distributions transplanted across a topographically heterogeneous landscape, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.37104
Most species distribution models assume a close link between climatic conditions and species distributions. Yet, we know little about the link between species' geographical distributions and the sensitivity of performance to local environmental factors. We studied the performance of three bryophyte species transplanted at south- and north-facing slopes in a boreal forest landscape in Sweden. At the same sites, we measured both air and ground temperature. We hypothesized that the two southerly distributed species Eurhynchium angustirete andHerzogiella seligeri perform better on south-facing slopes and in warm conditions, and that the northerly distributed species Barbilophozia lycopodioides perform better on north-facing slopes and in relatively cool conditions. The northern, but not the two southern species, showed the predicted relationship with slope aspect. However, the performance of one of the two southern species was still enhanced by warm temperatures. An important reason for the inconsistent results can be that microclimatic gradients across landscapes are complex and influenced by many climate-forcing factors. Therefore, comparing only north- and south-facing slopes might not capture the complexity of microclimatic gradients. Population growth rates and potential distributions are the integrated results of all vital rates. Still, the study of selected vital rates constitutes an important first step to understand the relationship between population growth rates and geographical distributions and is essential to better predict how climate change influences species distributions.