Rapid shifts in plant distribution with recent climate change.
|Title||Rapid shifts in plant distribution with recent climate change.|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2008|
|Authors||Kelly A, Goulden M|
A change in climate would be expected to shift plant distribution as species expand in newly favorable areas and decline in increasingly hostile locations. We compared surveys of plant cover that were made in 1977 and 2006–2007 along a 2,314-m elevation gradient in Southern California's Santa Rosa Mountains. Southern California's climate warmed at the surface, the precipitation variability increased, and the amount of snow decreased during the 30-year period preceding the second survey. We found that the average elevation of the dominant plant species rose by ≈65 m between the surveys. This shift cannot be attributed to changes in air pollution or fire frequency and appears to be a consequence of changes in regional climate.