The role of demographic and evolutionary processes in buffering populations from climate change
Every species eventually reaches limits to its geographic range, leading to the question of what prevents a species from expanding its range via niche evolution. We examine the effects of quantitative genetic variation, individual fitness, and demographic processes on the dynamics of adaptation to novel conditions such as those beyond range edges or those that have arisen due to climatic changes. Further, we investigate why some species can evolve broad climatic niches and large geographic ranges, while other species are narrowly restricted to a limited range of environments and places. At the community level, we study the effects of changing climate on community composition and climatic niche affinities. Cumulatively, our research provides a comprehensive understanding of constraints to niche evolution within and among populations, species, and communities.