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Título

Sensitivity of Mediterranean shrubland communities to climatic variability: a trait-based approach

AutorPérez-Ramos, Ignacio Manuel ; Díaz-Delgado, Ricardo ; Riva, E. G. de la; Villar Montero, Rafael; Lloret, Francisco; Marañón, Teodoro
Fecha de publicación31-ene-2017
EditorAsociación Española de Ecología Terrestre
CitaciónXIV MEDECOS & XIII AEET meeting. Human driven scenarios for evolutionary and ecological changes. 31 enero -4 febrero, Sevilla, Spain. (2017)
ResumenThere is a growing interest in predicting how plant communities will respond to ongoing climatic variability. How sensitive is a particular plant community to inter-annual variability in climate depends on several abiotic (e.g. soil environment) and biotic factors (e.g. functional trait composition and diversity) whose relative importance remains largely unexplored. In this study, we used a traitbased approach to analyze the sensitivity to climatic variability of Mediterranean shrublands located in southwest Spain (Doñana National Park) over a period of nine years, and evaluated the role of functional diversity (FD) and soil environment as drivers of community stability. The studied shrubland communities were clearly sensitive to climatic fluctuations. Particularly, colder and drier conditions induced significant changes not only in total plant cover but also in functional trait composition and diversity, likelybecause the reduction of plant density after harsh climatic conditions promoted the expansion of functionally dissimilar species in the new open microsites. These climate-driven changes were strongly influenced by FD and soil environment. Thus, those communities inhabiting resource-limited environments and harboring higher values of FD were most stable over time, likely because they were mainly constituted by a large diversity of slow-growth, stress-tolerant species that are potentially better adapted to harsh climatic conditions. We could infer that the increased frequency of extreme climatic events (such as episodes of intense drought and/or frost) predicted by climate change models will alter the functional structure of the studied shrubland communities, with potential repercussions for ecosystem functioning.
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/163480
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