The legacy of past climate and landscape change on species ’ current experienced climate and elevation ranges across latitude : a multispecies study utilizing mammals in western North America
biodiversity informatics, Climate Change, climate variability, distributions, latitudinal gradients, niche conservation, orbitally-forced range dynamics, random distributions, species, temperature tolerance
Elevation and climate ranges across latitude experienced by 21 wide-ranging mammal species in western North America were summarized to examine two ques- tions: (1) do populations in the northern and southern portions of a species’ range experience different climates or are environments selected to remain similar to climates at the core of ranges; and (2) how do species’ elevational ranges, experienced temperature seasonality and temperature ranges change across latitude? Given the larger effects of climate oscillations in the north vs. the south, a predicted outcome is for species to conserve climate niches across latitude and to show reduced climate and elevation ranges in the north. An alternative outcome is latitudinal niche diver- sification and increased climate variation in the north.