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Climate 2017, 5(3), 73; doi:10.3390/cli5030073

Germination Phenological Response Identifies Flora Risk to Climate Change

Nepal Academy of Science and Technology, P. O Box 3323, Khumltar Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Nepal
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Received: 25 August 2017 / Revised: 12 September 2017 / Accepted: 14 September 2017 / Published: 18 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Impacts and Resilience in the Developing World)
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Abstract

Climate change is prevalent across the world and can have large influence on plant regeneration, recruitment, survival and diversity. Regeneration and recruitment are the key phases in the plant life cycle and these two aspects are related to survival, adaptation and distribution of species. This study thus aims to explore the effect of projected climate change on germination and establishment response of some timber tree species from the tropical/subtropical broad leaf forests of Nepal. Germination experiments were carried out under three different temperature regimes (20, 25 and 30 °C) and germination parameters identified from the experimental component were calibrated in the mechanistic model Tree and Climate Assessment—Germination and Establishment Module (TACA-GEM) that helped in identifying species vulnerability to climate change. The model outcome under varied climatic conditions helped in determining the species risk to projected climatic conditions. The model demonstrates that the studied species were able to increase germination under the projected climate change however, establishment consistently failed for most of the species across the hot tropical sites. This finding indicates that spatial vulnerability may limit recruitment in the future. The species-specific responses suggest that, in general, all three species (Alnus nepalensis, Adina cordifolia, and Bombax ceiba) exhibited enhanced germination and establishment in moderately warm and colder sites, indicating that these species may more likely shift their range towards the north in future. Thus, the general species response exhibited in this study may aid in regional climate change adaptation planning in the sector of forest conservation and management. View Full-Text
Keywords: regeneration; establishment; response; environmental change; adaptability regeneration; establishment; response; environmental change; adaptability
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Chhetri, S.B.; Rawal, D.S. Germination Phenological Response Identifies Flora Risk to Climate Change. Climate 2017, 5, 73.

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