Title: Species‐area realationships in continuous vegetation : evidence from Palaearctic grasslands
Authors : Dengler, Jürgen
Biurrun, Idoia
Matthews, Thomas J.
Steinbauer, Manuel J.
Wolfrum, Sebastian
Boch, Steffen
Chiarucci, Alessandro
Conradi, Timo
Dembicz, Iwona
Marcenò, Corrado
García-Mijangos, Itziar
Nowak, Arkadiusz
Storch, David
Ulrich, Werner
et. al : No
Proceedings: Abstracts : 62nd Annual Symposium of the International Association for Vegetation Science
Conference details: 62nd IAVS Symposium, Bremen, Germany, 14 ‐ 19 July 2019
Publisher / Ed. Institution : International Association for Vegetation Science (IAVS)
Issue Date: 16-Jul-2019
License (according to publishing contract) : Licence according to publishing contract
Type of review: Not specified
Language : English
Subject (DDC) : 577: Ecology
Abstract: Aim: Species-area relationships (SARs) are fundamental scaling laws in ecology although their shape is still disputed. At larger areas power laws best represent SARs. Yet, it remained unclear whether SARs follow other shapes at finer spatial grains in continuous vegetation. We asked which function describes SARs best at small grains and explored how sampling methodology or the environment influence SAR shape. Location: Palaearctic grasslands and other non-forested habitats. Taxa: Vascular plants, bryophytes and lichens. Methods: We used the GrassPlot database, containing standardised vegetation-plot data from vascular plants, bryophytes, and lichens spanning a wide range of grassland types throughout the Palaearctic and including 2057 nested-plot series with at least seven grain sizes ranging from 1 cm2 to 1024 m². Using non-linear regression, we assessed the appropriateness of different SAR functions (power, power quadratic, power breakpoint, logarithmic, Michaelis-Menten). Based on AICc, we tested whether the ranking of functions differed among taxa, methodological settings, biomes or vegetation types. Results: The power function was the most suitable function across the studied taxa. The superiority of this function increased from lichens to bryophytes to vascular plants to all three taxa together. The sampling method was highly influential as rooted-presence sampling decreased the performance of the power function. By contrast, biome and vegetation type had practically no influence on the superiority of the power law. Main conclusions: We conclude that SARs of sessile organisms at smaller spatial grains are best approximated by power functions. This coincides with several other comprehensive studies of SARs at different grain sizes and for different taxa, thus supporting the general appropriateness of power functions for modelling species diversity over many grain sizes. The poor performance of the Michaelis-Menten function demonstrates that richness within plant communities generally does not approach any saturation, thus calling to abandon the concept of minimal area.
Departement: Life Sciences and Facility Management
Organisational Unit: Institute of Natural Resource Sciences (IUNR)
Publication type: Conference other
URI: https://digitalcollection.zhaw.ch/handle/11475/17799
Appears in Collections:Publikationen Life Sciences und Facility Management

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