Genetic data improves niche model discrimination and alters the direction and magnitude of climate change forecasts

Helen Bothwell, Luke Evans, Erika Hersch-Green, Scott Woolbright, Gerard Allan & Thomas Whitham
Ecological niche models (ENMs) have classically operated under the simplifying assumptions that there are no barriers to gene flow, species are genetically homogeneous (i.e., no population-specific local adaptation), and all individuals share the same niche. Yet, these assumptions are violated for most broadly distributed species. Here we incorporate genetic data from the widespread riparian tree species narrowleaf cottonwood (Populus angustifolia) to examine whether including intraspecific genetic variation can alter model performance and predictions of climate...
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