The ecological and evolutionary significance of frost in the context of climate change

Authors
Citation
Dw. Inouye, The ecological and evolutionary significance of frost in the context of climate change, ECOL LETT, 3(5), 2000, pp. 457-463
Citations number
42
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Review
Categorie Soggetti
Environment/Ecology
Journal title
ECOLOGY LETTERS
ISSN journal
1461-023X → ACNP
Volume
3
Issue
5
Year of publication
2000
Pages
457 - 463
Database
ISI
SICI code
1461-023X(200009)3:5<457:TEAESO>2.0.ZU;2-V
Abstract
The effects that below-freezing temperature (frost) can have at times of ye ar when it is unusual are an interesting ecological phenomenon that has rec eived little attention. The physiological consequence of formation of ice c rystals in plant tissue is often death of the plants, or at least of sensit ive parts that can include flower buds, ovaries, and leaves. The loss of po tential for sexual reproduction can have long-lasting effects on the demogr aphy of annuals and long-lived perennials, because the short-term negative effects of frosts can result in longer-term benefits through lowered popula tions of seed predators. The loss of host plants can have dramatic conseque nces for herbivores, even causing local extinctions, and the loss of just f lowers can also affect populations of seed predators and their parasitoids. Frosts can cause local extinctions and influence the geographical distribu tion of some species. The potential for global climate change to influence the frequency and distribution of frost events is uncertain, but it seems l ikely that they may become more frequent in some areas and less frequent in others.