Trends in Ecology and Evolution
The current distributions of species are often assumed to correspond with the total set of environmental conditions under which species can persist. When this assumption is incorrect, extinction risk estimated from species distribution models can be misleading. The degree to which species can tolerate or even thrive under conditions found beyond their current distributions alters extinction risks, time lags in realizing those risks, and the usefulness of alternative management strategies. To inform these issues, we propose a conceptual framework within which empirical data could be used to generate hypotheses regarding the realized, fundamental, and 'tolerance' niche of species. Although these niche components have rarely been characterized over geographic scales, we suggest that this could be done for many plant species by comparing native, naturalized, and horticultural distributions.
Sax, Dov F.; Early, Regan; and Bellemare, Jesse, "Niche Syndromes, Species Extinction Risks, and Management under Climate Change" (2013). Biological Sciences: Faculty Publications, Smith College, Northampton, MA.