Data from: The physiological cold tolerance of warm-climate plants is correlated with their latitudinal range limit
Wen, Yin et al. (2018), Data from: The physiological cold tolerance of warm-climate plants is correlated with their latitudinal range limit, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.dp08c26
Plants are moving poleward and upward in response to climate warming. However, such movements lag behind the expanding warming front for many reasons, including the impediment of plant movement caused by unusual cold events. In this study, we measured the maximum photochemical efficiency of PSII (Fv/Fm) in 101 warm-climate angiosperm species to assess their cold tolerance at the end of a severe chilling period of 49 days in a southern subtropical region (Nanning) in China. We found that 36 of the 101 species suffered from chilling-induced physiological injury, with predawn Fv/Fm values < 0.7. There was a significant exponential relationship between the predawn Fv/Fm and northern latitudinal limit of a species; species with a lower latitudinal limit suffered more. Our results suggest that the range limits of warm-climate plants are potentially influenced by their physiological sensitivity to chilling temperatures and that their poleward movement might be impeded by extreme cold events. The quick measurement of Fv/Fm is useful for assessing the cold tolerance of plants, providing valuable information for modelling species range shifts under changing climate conditions and species selection for horticultural management and urban landscape design.