Transition studies 

 in plants             by Rolf Baumberger 

HOT SPOT SHIFT

 

All the Diplacus varieties, subspecies, and species are common at coastal sites and hillsides up to an elevation of more than 1000 meters. They occur from Cedros Island, Baja California, to North California. They are also endemic to the Channel Islands.

 All these forms are reported to hybridize partially. On closer inspection, individuals are gradually changing their floral shape and becoming mostly adapted to the hummingbirds' bills and preferred colors of the visiting birds.

As flower-visiting birds, crucial agents of pollination, become increasingly frequent and the climate, a key driver of ecological change, fluctuates, we can observe that the transition activity of Diplacus is not constant. 

Over the past 60 years, our research has observed a significant shift in the hot spot of Diplacus transition activity. It moved from Baja California in the 60s, gradually making its way up to the North of Los Angeles by 2020, a clear indication of the changing distribution patterns and evolutionary activity.