Publication type: Conference other
Type of review: Peer review (abstract)
Title: Steppe islands : where island biogeography meets the reality of a severely fragmented habitat
Authors : Dembicz, Iwona
Moysiyenko, Ivan I.
Kozub, Lukasz
Dengler, Jürgen
Zakharova, Maryna
Sudnik-Wojcikowska, Barbara
et. al : No
Conference details: Macroecology 2019, Würzburg, 13 March 2019
Issue Date: 13-Mar-2019
Language : English
Subjects : Island biogeography; Steppe
Subject (DDC) : 580: Plants (Botany)
Abstract: Aim:In southern Ukraine steppe has survived only in nature reserves, loess ravines, old cemeteries and kurgans (tumuli, burial mounds). Kurgans are small, but numerous objects resembling “islands” in “the sea” of arable land. We asked: i) how strongly does vascular plant species richness on kurgans depend on their size and does this relationship differ between steppe specialists and generalist species? ii) Which other factors influence vascular plant species richness on kurgans? Location: Southern Ukraine. Methods: We recorded species lists and environmental conditions of 112 kurgans. With non-linear regression we analyzed species-area relationships (SARs) for all species and steppe and generalists species separately. Then, we assessed importance of other factors in explaining the residuals of the SAR models using simultaneous autoregressive models and multimodel inference. Results: Kurgan area had strong influence on species richness of all groups of species, but particularly on richness of steppe specialists. The estimates of slope of the power function (z-values) in the models for total species richness were high for total species richness (0.32), but even higher for steppe species (0.49) and lower for generalist species (0.18). For total species richness and steppe species, the most important predictors in addition to area were steepness of the kurgan (positive), distance to steppe enclave (negative) and precipitation of the warm period (negative). For steppe species also habitat amount index (positive) and the disturbance (negative) were important predictors. For generalist species, the only important predictors were land use in the surrounding (lower when only arable fields) and steepness of a kurgan (positive). Main conclusions: Our results indicate that kurgans are habitat islands only for steppe habitat specialists. For this group of species, area and isolation are important predictors of species richness, what is in accordance with the theory of island biogeography, while also local factors play a role.
Fulltext version : Published version
License (according to publishing contract) : Licence according to publishing contract
Departement: Life Sciences and Facility Management
Organisational Unit: Institute of Natural Resource Sciences (IUNR)
Appears in Collections:Publikationen Life Sciences und Facility Management

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