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Article

The Potential for Future Shifts in Tree Species Distribution Provided by Dispersal and Ecological Niches: A Comparison between Beech and Oak in Europe

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Chair of Silviculture, Institute of Silviculture and Forest Protection, Technical University of Dresden, 01737 Dresden, Germany
2
Chair of Forest Biometrics and Forest Systems Analysis, Institute of Forest Growth and Forest Computer Sciences, Technical University of Dresden, 01737 Tharandt, Germany
3
Chair of Meteorology, Institute of Hydrology and Meteorology, Technical University of Dresden, 01737 Tharandt, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Helge Walentowski and Christoph Leuschner
Sustainability 2021, 13(23), 13067; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132313067
Received: 18 October 2021 / Revised: 21 November 2021 / Accepted: 22 November 2021 / Published: 25 November 2021
(1) Due to global warming, distribution ranges of temperate tree species are shifting northwards and upslope to cooler areas. Shifts in distribution first become visible through changes in regeneration dynamics. However, the future distribution of tree species in the face of rapid climate change depends not only on the climatic suitability of the tree species, but also on its ability to disperse into new habitats. The aim of the study was therefore to examine how the distribution of European beech and European oak shifts and how species can spread from fragmented seed trees. (2) In order to investigate the shift in distribution of beech and oak, the bioclimatic envelopes of the old trees and different size classes of the natural regeneration were compared. Subsequently, a simulation of the potential distribution for the present climate, as well as for the climate for the reference period 2091–2100, for three different representative concentration pathways (RCP) scenarios was determined. In order to determine which of these areas can actually be colonised, a dispersal potential for the species was determined using a quantile regression, taking habitat fragmentation into account. (3) The results of the present study demonstrate range shifts of the tree species regeneration distribution (B0, B1 and B2) compared to the overstorey distribution (OST). While oak regeneration shows an expansion of its distribution in the cold-wet range, beech regeneration shows a reduction of its distribution in the dry-warm range. As the dispersal potential of oak exceeds that of beech, it is expected that oak will be better able to spread from fragmented seed trees. However, the results also indicate that many areas, despite climatic suitability, cannot be colonised due to too large dispersal distances. (4) For the forest management, this results in an important planning tool for future tree species composition, as climatic suitability, habitat connectivity and dispersal ability are taken into account. View Full-Text
Keywords: bioclimatic envelopes; climate change; dispersal; biogeography; tree migration; habitat fragmentation bioclimatic envelopes; climate change; dispersal; biogeography; tree migration; habitat fragmentation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Axer, M.; Schlicht, R.; Kronenberg, R.; Wagner, S. The Potential for Future Shifts in Tree Species Distribution Provided by Dispersal and Ecological Niches: A Comparison between Beech and Oak in Europe. Sustainability 2021, 13, 13067. https://doi.org/10.3390/su132313067

AMA Style

Axer M, Schlicht R, Kronenberg R, Wagner S. The Potential for Future Shifts in Tree Species Distribution Provided by Dispersal and Ecological Niches: A Comparison between Beech and Oak in Europe. Sustainability. 2021; 13(23):13067. https://doi.org/10.3390/su132313067

Chicago/Turabian Style

Axer, Maximilian, Robert Schlicht, Rico Kronenberg, and Sven Wagner. 2021. "The Potential for Future Shifts in Tree Species Distribution Provided by Dispersal and Ecological Niches: A Comparison between Beech and Oak in Europe" Sustainability 13, no. 23: 13067. https://doi.org/10.3390/su132313067

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