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Research article2013Peer reviewedOpen access

Ecological niche shifts of understorey plants along a latitudinal gradient of temperate forests in north-western Europe

Wasof, Safaa; Lenoir, Jonathan; Gallet-Moron, Emilie; Jamoneau, Aurélien; Brunet, Jörg; Cousins, S A O; De Frenne, Pieter; Diekmann, M.; Hermy, Martin; Kolb, Anette; Liira, Jaan; Verheyen, K; Wulf, Monika; Decocq, Guillaume


Main conclusions Forest understorey plants shifted their realized niche along the latitudinal gradient, suggesting local adaptation and/or plasticity. This macroecological pattern casts doubt on the idea that the realized niche is stable in space and time, which is a key assumption of species distribution models used to predict the future of biodiversity, hence raising concern about predicted extinction rates.


Beta diversity; climate change; detrended correspondence analyses; Ellenberg indicator values; forest understorey plant species; niche optimum; niche width; plant community; realized niche

Published in

Global Ecology and Biogeography
2013, Volume: 22, number: 10, pages: 1130-1140

    Sustainable Development Goals

    Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
    Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Climate Research

    Publication identifier


    Permanent link to this page (URI)