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A Plant Distribution Shift: Temperature, Drought or Past Disturbance?

Overview of attention for article published in PLoS ONE, February 2012
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (85th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (80th percentile)

Mentioned by

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7 tweeters
googleplus
1 Google+ user

Citations

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22 Dimensions

Readers on

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110 Mendeley
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Title
A Plant Distribution Shift: Temperature, Drought or Past Disturbance?
Published in
PLoS ONE, February 2012
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0031173
Pubmed ID
Authors

Dylan W. Schwilk, Jon E. Keeley

Abstract

Simple models of plant response to warming climates predict vegetation moving to cooler and/or wetter locations: in mountainous regions shifting upslope. However, species-specific responses to climate change are likely to be much more complex. We re-examined a recently reported vegetation shift in the Santa Rosa Mountains, California, to better understand the mechanisms behind the reported shift of a plant distribution upslope. We focused on five elevational zones near the center of the gradient that captured many of the reported shifts and which are dominated by fire-prone chaparral. Using growth rings, we determined that a major assumption of the previous work was wrong: past fire histories differed among elevations. To examine the potential effect that this difference might have on the reported upward shift, we focused on one species, Ceanothus greggii: a shrub that only recruits post-fire from a soil stored seedbank. For five elevations used in the prior study, we calculated time series of past per-capita mortality rates by counting growth rings on live and dead individuals. We tested three alternative hypotheses explaining the past patterns of mortality: 1) mortality increased over time consistent with climate warming, 2) mortality was correlated with drought indices, and 3) mortality peaked 40-50 years post fire at each site, consistent with self-thinning. We found that the sites were different ages since the last fire, and that the reported increase in the mean elevation of C. greggii was due to higher recent mortality at the lower elevations, which were younger sites. The time-series pattern of mortality was best explained by the self-thinning hypothesis and poorly explained by gradual warming or drought. At least for this species, the reported distribution shift appears to be an artifact of disturbance history and is not evidence of a climate warming effect.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 7 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 110 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 7 6%
Brazil 1 <1%
Italy 1 <1%
Slovakia 1 <1%
Canada 1 <1%
Turkey 1 <1%
Unknown 98 89%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Researcher 25 23%
Student > Ph. D. Student 23 21%
Student > Master 16 15%
Student > Doctoral Student 10 9%
Professor > Associate Professor 10 9%
Other 23 21%
Unknown 3 3%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 55 50%
Environmental Science 39 35%
Earth and Planetary Sciences 6 5%
Nursing and Health Professions 1 <1%
Unspecified 1 <1%
Other 3 3%
Unknown 5 5%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 8. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 04 April 2019.
All research outputs
#2,430,618
of 14,568,570 outputs
Outputs from PLoS ONE
#34,141
of 150,585 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#31,561
of 212,922 outputs
Outputs of similar age from PLoS ONE
#813
of 4,130 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 14,568,570 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done well and is in the 83rd percentile: it's in the top 25% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 150,585 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 12.6. This one has done well, scoring higher than 77% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 212,922 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 85% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 4,130 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done well, scoring higher than 80% of its contemporaries.