Journal article

Climate extreme variables generated using monthly time-series data improve predicted distributions of plant species

SB Stewart, J Elith, M Fedrigo, S Kasel, SH Roxburgh, LT Bennett, M Chick, T Fairman, S Leonard, M Kohout, JK Cripps, L Durkin, CR Nitschke

ECOGRAPHY | WILEY | Published : 2021


Extreme weather can have significant impacts on plant species demography; however, most studies have focused on responses to a single or small number of extreme events. Long-term patterns in climate extremes, and how they have shaped contemporary distributions, have rarely been considered or tested. BIOCLIM variables that are commonly used in correlative species distribution modelling studies cannot be used to quantify climate extremes, as they are generated using long-term averages and therefore do not describe year-to-year, temporal variability. We evaluated the response of 37 plant species to base climate (long-term means, equivalent to BIOCLIM variables), variability (standard deviations..

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Awarded by Australian Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

The research was supported by the Melbourne Research Scholarship (Univ. of Melbourne) with additional funding provided by the State of Victoria Dept of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) though the Integrated Forest Ecosystem Research (iFER) program. JE was supported by Australian Research Council grant DP 160101003. We thank those from the Arthur Rylah Inst. for Environmental Research (Matthew Bruce, Lindy Lumsden, Josephine MacHunter, Annette Muir and Jenny Nelson), VicForests (Elizabeth Pryde), Univ. of Melbourne (Alan York, Julian Di Stefano and Helen Vickers), Univ. of Tasmania (Sue Baker), who contributed plot data critical to the analysis. We also thank Chris Ware and Karel Mokany from the CSIRO and the anonymous reviewers for reviewing this manuscript and providing constructive feedback.