Models of future species distributions are regularly fit at the species level, yet a species’ response to environmental change is not always uniform across its distribution.
Researchers from the USGS, North Carolina State, and the U.S. Forest Service considered how intraspecific variation may shape the geographic distribution of ponderosa pine to climate change. They used a geographically widespread dataset to model potential distributions of two varieties and eight haplotypes of ponderosa pine under future climate forecasts. Projections of haplotype niche distributions resulted in greater potential range loss than predicted for the varieties; however, a loss of distributional area and an upward shift in elevation was generally consistent across intraspecific levels. Results demonstrate the utility in modeling intraspecific response to changing climate to identify ponderosa pine populations and geographic areas that may be most at risk under projected climate change.
Maguire, K.C., Shinneman, D.J., Potter, K.M., Hipkins, V.D., 2018, Intraspecific niche models for ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) suggest potential variability in population-level response to climate change: Systematic Biology, https://doi.org/10.1093/sysbio/syy017.