Department of Biology

Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

Henrik Balslev

Fine-Scale Plant Richness Mapping of the Andean Paramo According to Macroclimate

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

DOI

  • Gwendolyn Peyre, Univ Los Andes, University of the Andes Colombia, Dept Civil & Environm Engn
  • ,
  • Henrik Balslev
  • Xavier Font, Univ Barcelona, University of Barcelona, Fac Biol, Dept Plant Biol
  • ,
  • J. Sebastian Tello, Missouri Bot Garden, Missouri Botanical Gardens, Ctr Conservat & Sustainable Dev

Understanding the main relationships between the current macroclimate and broad spatial patterns of plant diversity is a priority in biogeography, and although there is an important body of studies on the topic worldwide, tropical mountains remain underrepresented. Because understanding primary drivers of diversity patterns in the Andean paramo is still in its infancy, we focused on evaluating the role of the current macroclimate in form of three complementary hypotheses, energy, seasonality and harshness, in explaining local variation of plant species richness. We relied on 1,559 vegetation plots that offered a fine-scale outlook on real species assemblages due to community rules and species' interactions with their surrounding environment, including climate. Generalized Least Squares (GLS) regression models provided insight on the significance of the different hypotheses in explaining local plant richness, but only the energy and seasonality hypotheses received partial support. The best model was then combined with spatial interpolation Kriging modeling techniques to project species richness for a standardized 25 m(2) plot throughout the entire paramo biogeographical province. We highlighted a North-South increase in richness with several species-rich areas, potential local biodiversity hotspots, independent of the general gradient: the Amotape-Huancabamba zone, Sangay and Cotacachi areas, and eastern Venezuelan Andes. Our endeavor to finely map local richness is the first effort predicting macroecological patterns in the emblematic Andean paramo and contributes novel biogeographical knowledge useful to further support in-depth research and conservation focus in the northern Andes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number377
JournalFrontiers in Ecology and Evolution
Volume7
Number of pages12
ISSN2296-701X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2019

    Research areas

  • contemporary macroclimate, High Andes, Kriging model, plant diversity, regression model, richness patterns, STRESS-GRADIENT HYPOTHESIS, SPECIES-RICHNESS, LATITUDINAL GRADIENTS, GEOGRAPHIC PATTERNS, HIGH-RESOLUTION, DIVERSITY, VEGETATION, BIODIVERSITY, WATER, BIOGEOGRAPHY

See relations at Aarhus University Citationformats

ID: 189879161