J Syst Evol ›› 2023, Vol. 61 ›› Issue (1): 227-229.DOI: 10.1111/jse.12832

• Letter to the Editor • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Ability of bryophytes to track areas of suitable climate depends on their habitat preferences

Zun Dai1, Jian Zhang2, and Jian Wang1*   

  1. 1 Bryology Laboratory, School of Life Science, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241, China
    2 Research Center for Global Change and Complex Ecosystems, School of Ecological and Environmental Science, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241, China

    *Author for correspondence. E‐mail: jwang@bio.ecnu.edu.cn
  • Received:2021-04-07 Accepted:2022-01-18 Online:2022-03-03 Published:2023-01-01


The impact of climate change on biodiversity operates through a complex mixture of habitat loss and range shift through the emergence of newly suitable areas (Warren et al., 2013). The main question is therefore to determine whether species have the ability to balance the loss of suitable habitats by effectively shifting their ranges and track suitable areas under climate change (Nogués-Bravo et al., 2018). Zanatta et al. (2020) most recently simulated the dispersal of apparently extremely efficient dispersers, namely bryophytes, whose tiny spores (<20 µm on average) are wind-dispersed across large distances, under several climate change scenarios. They concluded that, despite their high dispersal capacities, bryophytes will lose suitable areas at a faster rate than they will colonize newly suitable areas. Paradoxically, mounting evidence points to striking range expansions in epiphytic floras in the context of the sharp decrease of SO2 concentrations since the 1980s and climate warming (Tuba et al., 2011). Here, we addressed this apparent controversy by reassessing the results of Zanatta et al. (2020) in the light of the repartitioning of the data per habitat type.