Accounting for stochasticity in demographic compensation along the elevational range of an alpine plant

Type Article
Date 2020-05
Language English
Author(s) Andrello Marco1, de Villemereuil Pierre2, Carboni Marta3, Busson Delphine4, Fortin Marie-Josée5, Gaggiotti Oscar E6, Till-Bottraud Irene7
Affiliation(s) 1 : MARBEC, Univ Montpellier, CNRS, IFREMER, IRD, Sète, France
2 : Institut de Systématique, Évolution, Biodiversité (ISYEB), École Pratique des Hautes Études PSL, MNHN, CNRS, Sorbonne Université, Université des Antilles, Paris, France
3 : Dipartimento di Scienze, Università Degli Studi di Roma Tre, viale Marconi 446, 00146 Roma, Italy
4 : Laboratoire d’Ecologie Alpine (LECA), Université Grenoble Alpes, F-38000 Grenoble, France; CNRS, LECA, F-38000 Grenoble, France
5 : Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto, Toronto, M5S 3B2, Canada
6 : Scottish Oceans Institute, University of St Andrews, Fife, KY16 8LB, United Kingdom.
7 : Université Clermont Auvergne, CNRS, GEOLAB, F-63000 Clermont-Ferrand, France
Source Ecology Letters (1461-023X) (Wiley / Blackwell), 2020-05 , Vol. 23 , N. 5 , P. 870-880
DOI 10.1111/ele.13488
WOS© Times Cited 4
Keyword(s) Arabis alpina, Brassicaceae, elasticity, elevation, population dynamics, stochasticity

Demographic compensation arises when vital rates change in opposite directions across populations,  buffering the variation in population growth rates, and is a mechanism often invoked to explain the  stability of species geographic ranges. However, studies on demographic compensation have disregarded  the effects of temporal variation in vital rates and their temporal correlations, despite theoretical  evidence that stochastic dynamics can affect population persistence in temporally varying environments.  We carried out a seven-year-long demographic study on the perennial plant Arabis alpina across six  populations encompassing most of its elevational range. We discovered demographic compensation in  the form of negative correlations between the means of plant vital rates, but also between their  temporal coefficients of variation, correlations and elasticities. Even if their contribution to demographic  compensation was small, this highlights a previously overlooked, but potentially important, role of  stochastic processes in stabilizing population dynamics at range margins.

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Andrello Marco, de Villemereuil Pierre, Carboni Marta, Busson Delphine, Fortin Marie-Josée, Gaggiotti Oscar E, Till-Bottraud Irene (2020). Accounting for stochasticity in demographic compensation along the elevational range of an alpine plant. Ecology Letters, 23(5), 870-880. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :