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Cross-scale analysis of the region effect on vascular plant species diversity in southern and northern European mountain ranges.

Lenoir J, Gégout JC, Guisan A, Vittoz P, Wohlgemuth T, Zimmermann NE, Dullinger S, Pauli H, Willner W, Grytnes JA, Virtanen R, Svenning JC - PLoS ONE (2010)

Bottom Line: The divergent glacial histories of southern and northern Europe affect present-day species diversity at coarse-grained scales in these two regions, but do these effects also penetrate to the more fine-grained scales of local communities?In contrast, there was a slightly greater plot α-diversity in the Scandes, but with a tendency towards contrasting region effects on high and low soil-acidity plots.Notably, ecological sorting and habitat connectivity may play a role in the unexpected limited or reversed region effect on plot α-diversity, and may also affect the larger-scale diversity components.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Ecoinformatics and Biodiversity Group, Department of Biological Sciences, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark. lenoir.john@gmail.com

ABSTRACT

Background: The divergent glacial histories of southern and northern Europe affect present-day species diversity at coarse-grained scales in these two regions, but do these effects also penetrate to the more fine-grained scales of local communities?

Methodology/principal findings: We carried out a cross-scale analysis to address this question for vascular plants in two mountain regions, the Alps in southern Europe and the Scandes in northern Europe, using environmentally paired vegetation plots in the two regions (n = 403 in each region) to quantify four diversity components: (i) total number of species occurring in a region (total γ-diversity), (ii) number of species that could occur in a target plot after environmental filtering (habitat-specific γ-diversity), (iii) pair-wise species compositional turnover between plots (plot-to-plot β-diversity) and (iv) number of species present per plot (plot α-diversity). We found strong region effects on total γ-diversity, habitat-specific γ-diversity and plot-to-plot β-diversity, with a greater diversity in the Alps even towards distances smaller than 50 m between plots. In contrast, there was a slightly greater plot α-diversity in the Scandes, but with a tendency towards contrasting region effects on high and low soil-acidity plots.

Conclusions/significance: We conclude that there are strong regional differences between coarse-grained (landscape- to regional-scale) diversity components of the flora in the Alps and the Scandes mountain ranges, but that these differences do not necessarily penetrate to the finest-grained (plot-scale) diversity component, at least not on acidic soils. Our findings are consistent with the contrasting regional Quaternary histories, but we also consider alternative explanatory models. Notably, ecological sorting and habitat connectivity may play a role in the unexpected limited or reversed region effect on plot α-diversity, and may also affect the larger-scale diversity components. For instance, plot connectivity and/or selection for high dispersal ability may increase plot α-diversity and compensate for low total γ-diversity.

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The region effect on plot-to-plot β-diversity.Scatter plots of the average of all of the pair-wise compositional dissimilarity values between each focal sampling plot F and all other 402 j plots in a given region (), also termed compositional distinctness. Each dot represents one Alps–Scandes pair of environmentally similar plots.
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pone-0015734-g002: The region effect on plot-to-plot β-diversity.Scatter plots of the average of all of the pair-wise compositional dissimilarity values between each focal sampling plot F and all other 402 j plots in a given region (), also termed compositional distinctness. Each dot represents one Alps–Scandes pair of environmentally similar plots.

Mentions: Overall, plot-to-plot β-diversity quantified by pair-wise species turnover (Δcjk) between all 403 plots within a whole region was clearly higher in the Alps (Δcjk mean: 0.77, Δcjk SD: 0.20) than in the Scandes (Δcjk mean: 0.67; Δcjk SD: 0.20). Moreover, compositional distinctness, as the average of the ΔcjF values between each focal plot and all other 402 plots in a given region (), was significantly higher (one-tailed Student's paired-sample t-test, t = 20.79, d.f. = 402, P≪0.0001) in the Alps ( mean: 0.77; SD: 0.07) than in the Scandes ( mean: 0.67; SD: 0.09) (Figure 2) for the environmentally similar Alps-Scandes pairs.


Cross-scale analysis of the region effect on vascular plant species diversity in southern and northern European mountain ranges.

Lenoir J, Gégout JC, Guisan A, Vittoz P, Wohlgemuth T, Zimmermann NE, Dullinger S, Pauli H, Willner W, Grytnes JA, Virtanen R, Svenning JC - PLoS ONE (2010)

The region effect on plot-to-plot β-diversity.Scatter plots of the average of all of the pair-wise compositional dissimilarity values between each focal sampling plot F and all other 402 j plots in a given region (), also termed compositional distinctness. Each dot represents one Alps–Scandes pair of environmentally similar plots.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3008735&req=5

pone-0015734-g002: The region effect on plot-to-plot β-diversity.Scatter plots of the average of all of the pair-wise compositional dissimilarity values between each focal sampling plot F and all other 402 j plots in a given region (), also termed compositional distinctness. Each dot represents one Alps–Scandes pair of environmentally similar plots.
Mentions: Overall, plot-to-plot β-diversity quantified by pair-wise species turnover (Δcjk) between all 403 plots within a whole region was clearly higher in the Alps (Δcjk mean: 0.77, Δcjk SD: 0.20) than in the Scandes (Δcjk mean: 0.67; Δcjk SD: 0.20). Moreover, compositional distinctness, as the average of the ΔcjF values between each focal plot and all other 402 plots in a given region (), was significantly higher (one-tailed Student's paired-sample t-test, t = 20.79, d.f. = 402, P≪0.0001) in the Alps ( mean: 0.77; SD: 0.07) than in the Scandes ( mean: 0.67; SD: 0.09) (Figure 2) for the environmentally similar Alps-Scandes pairs.

Bottom Line: The divergent glacial histories of southern and northern Europe affect present-day species diversity at coarse-grained scales in these two regions, but do these effects also penetrate to the more fine-grained scales of local communities?In contrast, there was a slightly greater plot α-diversity in the Scandes, but with a tendency towards contrasting region effects on high and low soil-acidity plots.Notably, ecological sorting and habitat connectivity may play a role in the unexpected limited or reversed region effect on plot α-diversity, and may also affect the larger-scale diversity components.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Ecoinformatics and Biodiversity Group, Department of Biological Sciences, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark. lenoir.john@gmail.com

ABSTRACT

Background: The divergent glacial histories of southern and northern Europe affect present-day species diversity at coarse-grained scales in these two regions, but do these effects also penetrate to the more fine-grained scales of local communities?

Methodology/principal findings: We carried out a cross-scale analysis to address this question for vascular plants in two mountain regions, the Alps in southern Europe and the Scandes in northern Europe, using environmentally paired vegetation plots in the two regions (n = 403 in each region) to quantify four diversity components: (i) total number of species occurring in a region (total γ-diversity), (ii) number of species that could occur in a target plot after environmental filtering (habitat-specific γ-diversity), (iii) pair-wise species compositional turnover between plots (plot-to-plot β-diversity) and (iv) number of species present per plot (plot α-diversity). We found strong region effects on total γ-diversity, habitat-specific γ-diversity and plot-to-plot β-diversity, with a greater diversity in the Alps even towards distances smaller than 50 m between plots. In contrast, there was a slightly greater plot α-diversity in the Scandes, but with a tendency towards contrasting region effects on high and low soil-acidity plots.

Conclusions/significance: We conclude that there are strong regional differences between coarse-grained (landscape- to regional-scale) diversity components of the flora in the Alps and the Scandes mountain ranges, but that these differences do not necessarily penetrate to the finest-grained (plot-scale) diversity component, at least not on acidic soils. Our findings are consistent with the contrasting regional Quaternary histories, but we also consider alternative explanatory models. Notably, ecological sorting and habitat connectivity may play a role in the unexpected limited or reversed region effect on plot α-diversity, and may also affect the larger-scale diversity components. For instance, plot connectivity and/or selection for high dispersal ability may increase plot α-diversity and compensate for low total γ-diversity.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus