Climate gradients, climate change, and special edaphic floras

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Harrison, Susan, Damschen, Ellen, and Going, Barbara M.
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Serpentine endemics and other soil-restricted taxa may be presumed to face extraordinarily high risk from climate change because their narrow edaphic niches limit their possibilities to adapt through migration. However, their distinctive life-history traits and their competitive relationships with faster-growing soil generalists may complicate this picture and produce unexpected outcomes. Here we propose a conceptual framework for how serpentine endemics will fare under climate change, together with three potential tests of its predictions. We believe climate change should be embraced by serpentine plant ecologists as a critical area for greater study.


Harrison, Susan, Ellen Damschen, and Barbara M. Going. 2009. “Climate Gradients, Climate Change, and Special Edaphic Floras.” Northeastern Naturalist 16 (sp5): 121–30. doi:10.1656/045.016.0510.