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Species richness and composition differ in response to landscape and biogeography
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography. Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.
Number of Authors: 42018 (English)In: Landscape Ecology, ISSN 0921-2973, E-ISSN 1572-9761, Vol. 33, no 12, p. 2273-2284Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Context Understanding how landscape patterns affect species diversity is of great importance in the fields of biogeography, landscape ecology and conservation planning, but despite the rapid advance in biodiversity analysis, investigations of spatial effects on biodiversity are still largely focused on species richness.

Objectives We wanted to know if and how species richness and species composition are differentially driven by the spatial measures dominating studies in landscape ecology and biogeography. As both measures require the same limited presence/absence information, it is important to choose an appropriate diversity measure, as differing results could have important consequences for interpreting ecological processes.

Methods We recorded plant occurrences on 112 islands in the Baltic archipelago. Species richness and composition were calculated for each island, and the explanatory power of island area and habitat heterogeneity, distance to mainland and structural connectivity at three different landscape sizes were examined.

Results A total of 354 different plant species were recorded. The influence of landscape variables differed depending on which diversity measure was used. Island area and structural connectivity determined plant species richness, while species composition revealed a more complex pattern, being influenced by island area, habitat heterogeneity and structural connectivity.

Conclusions Although both measures require the same basic input data, species composition can reveal more about the ecological processes affecting plant communities in fragmented landscapes than species richness alone. Therefore, we recommend that species community composition should be used as an additional standard measure of diversity for biogeography, landscape ecology and conservation planning.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 33, no 12, p. 2273-2284
Keywords [en]
Archipelago, Baltic Sea, Diversity measure, Island biogeography, Landscape variables, Plants, Species-area relationship, Species composition, Species richness, Structural connectivity
National Category
Biological Sciences Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-163592DOI: 10.1007/s10980-018-0742-9ISI: 000451749800015OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-163592DiVA, id: diva2:1277921
Available from: 2019-01-11 Created: 2019-01-11 Last updated: 2019-01-11Bibliographically approved

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Aggemyr, ElsaAuffret, Alistair G.Cousins, Sara A. O.
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