Upward shift of alpine plants increases floristic similarity of mountain summits
Abstract:Question: Does the upward shift of species and accompanied increase in species richness, induced by climate change, lead to homogenization of Alpine summit vegetation?
Location: Bernina region of the Swiss Alps.
Methods: Based on a data set from previous literature we expand the analysis from species richness to beta-diversity and spatial heterogeneity. Species compositions of mountain summits are compared using a two-component heterogeneity concept including the mean and the variance of Sørensen similarities calculated between the summits. Non-metric multidimensional scaling is applied to explore developments of single summits in detail.
Results: Both heterogeneity components (mean dissimilarity and variance) decrease over time, indicating a trend towards more homogeneous vegetation among Alpine summits. However, the development on single summits is not strictly unidirectional.
Conclusions: The upward shift of plant species leads to homogenization of alpine summit regions. Thus, increasing alpha-diversity is accompanied by decreasing beta-diversity. Beta-diversity demands higher recognition by scientists as well as nature conservationists as it detects changes which cannot be described using species richness alone.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: October 1, 2007
More about this publication?
- The Journal of Vegetation Science publishes original articles, short notes and review articles in the field of vegetation science, both methodological and theoretical studies, and descriptive and experimental studies of plant communities and plant populations. The Journal is the Official Organ of the International Association for Vegetation Science (IAVS).
- Editorial Board
- Information for Authors
- Submit a Paper
- Subscribe to this Title
- Membership Information
- Terms & Conditions
- ingentaconnect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites