University of Oulu

Taulavuori K, Taulavuori E, Saravesi K, et al. Competitive success of southern populations of Betula pendula and Sorbus aucuparia under simulated southern climate experiment in the subarctic. Ecol Evol. 2017;7:4507–4517.

Competitive success of southern populations of Betula pendula and Sorbus aucuparia under simulated southern climate experiment in the subarctic

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Author: Taulavuori, Kari1; Taulavuori, Erja1; Saravesi, Karita1;
Organizations: 1University of Oulu Department of Ecology and Genetics Oulu Finland
2University of Turku Centre for Environmental Research Turku Finland
3Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) Turku Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.6 MB)
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Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2017
Publish Date: 2017-08-09


Global warming has been commonly accepted to facilitate species’ range shifts across latitudes. Cross-latitudinal transplantations support this; many tree species can well adapt to new geographical areas. However, these studies fail to capture species’ adaptations to new light environment because the experiments were not designed to explicitly separate species’ responses to light and temperature. Here we tested reaction norms of tree seedlings in reciprocal transplantations 1,000 km apart from each other at two latitudes (60°N and 69°N). In contrast to past studies, we exposed our experimental plants to same temperature in both sites (temperature of 60°N growing site is recorded to adjust temperature of 69°N site in real time via Internet connection) while light environment (photoperiod, light quality) remained ambient. Shoot elongation and autumn coloration were studied in seedlings of two deciduous trees (Betula pendula and Sorbus aucuparia), which were expected to respond differently to day length. Sorbus as a member of Rosaceae family was assumed to be indifferent to photoperiod, while Betula responds strongly to day length. We hypothesized that (1) southern and northern populations of both species perform differently; (2) southern populations perform better in both sites; (3) autumn phenology of southern populations may delay in the northern site; (4) and Sorbus aucuparia is less dependent on light environment. According to the hypotheses, shoot elongation of northern population was inherently low in both species. An evolutionary consequence of this may be a competitive success of southern populations under warming climate. Southern population of B. pendula was delayed in autumn coloration, but not in growth cessation. Sorbus aucuparia was less responsive to light environment. The results suggest that light provides selection pressure in range shifts, but the response is species dependent.

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Series: Ecology and evolution
ISSN: 2045-7758
ISSN-E: 2045-7758
ISSN-L: 2045-7758
Volume: 7
Pages: 4507 - 4517
DOI: 10.1002/ece3.3026
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
1172 Environmental sciences
Funding: We are also grateful to Academy of Finland (project #278364), and Kone Foundation, for funding the project.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 278364
Detailed Information: 278364 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2017 The Authors. Ecology and Evolution published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.