Diversity partitioning of moorland plant communities across hierarchical spatial scales

Takehiro Sasaki, Masatoshi Katabuchi, Chiho Kamiyama, Masaya Shimazaki, Tohru Nakashizuka, Kouki Hikosaka

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    12 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Understanding of the scaling of diversity is critical to enhance conservation strategies for subalpine moorland ecosystems vulnerable to future environmental changes. However, a paucity of quantitative data strongly limits such attempts. In this study, we used an additive diversity partitioning framework and quantified diversity patterns of moorland plant communities across hierarchical spatial scales, within- and between-sample transects, and between sites (corresponding to α and two levels of β diversity). Moorland sites markedly differed in size (range 1,000-160,000 m 2) and were isolated from each other to varying extents within an inhospitable matrix (i. e., forests). We found that β diversity components were consistently higher, whereas the local α diversity component was consistently lower than expected by chance. We observed substantial contribution at the between-site scale to total species richness. By focusing on diversity patterns of moorland plant communities across multiple hierarchical spatial scales, we could thus identify the scale at which regional diversity is maximized. Our results suggest that protection of as many moorland sites as possible, to ensure beta diversity between sites, will effectively conserve total diversity. The use of additive diversity partitioning is a major step forward in providing strategies for the biological conservation of subalpine moorland ecosystems vulnerable to future environmental changes.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1577-1588
    Number of pages12
    JournalBiodiversity and Conservation
    Volume21
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jun 1

    Keywords

    • Alpha diversity
    • Beta diversity
    • Gamma diversity
    • Nonrandom processes
    • Species richness

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
    • Ecology
    • Nature and Landscape Conservation

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