Browsing by Subject "HABITAT"

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  • Holopainen, Sari; Cehovska, Marketa; Jaatinen, Kim; Laaksonen, Toni; Linden, Andreas; Nummi, Petri; Piha, Markus; Pöysä, Hannu; Toivanen, Tero; Väänänen, Veli-Matti; Lehikoinen, Aleksi (2022)
    Certain species experience rapid population increases in human-modified and -affected environments. Conservation actions and increased wintertime food availability have led to a population increase of several large herbivorous waterbird species. In Northern Europe, this trend is opposite to the overall decrease of several smaller waterbird species. We examined whether the recovery of a flagship species, the whooper swan (Cygnus cygnus), and the spreading of the nonnative Canada goose (Branta canadensis), cause asymmetric competition with other sympatric waterbirds at their breeding sites. We used data from the national Finnish waterbird surveys collected in the late 1980s and early 2020 s at 942 sites, to assess the site-level effects of large herbivore occurrence on other waterbird species, while considering their trophic overlap. We hypothesised that there could be competitive effects of large herbivorous on smaller species, especially those with similar foraging niches. We however found that other waterbird populations have decreased less at sites occupied by whooper swans since the 1980 s. Canada goose site occupation was not associated with the abundance of other waterbirds. Thereby, our findings are not consistent with the suggestion that population increases of large herbivore species lead to asymmetric competition on the breeding wetlands. The whooper swan may potentially act as an indicator of habitat quality and further on as a flagship umbrella species with multidisciplinary conservation benefits, of which may accrue benefits also to other waterbirds exhibiting declining population trends. Our findings underline the importance of considering species interactions when designing and implementing management actions in conservation strategies.
  • Franks, Victoria R.; Ewen, John G.; McCready, Mhairi; Rowcliffe, J. Marcus; Smith, Donal; Thorogood, Rose (2020)
    Animal sociality arises from the cumulative effects of both individual social decisions and environmental factors. While juveniles' social interactions with parents prior to independence shape later life sociality, in most bird and mammal species at least one sex undergoes an early life dispersal before first-year reproduction. The social associations from this period could also have implications for later life yet are rarely characterized. Here, we derived predictions from available examples of juvenile groups in the literature (mobile 'flocks', spatially stable 'gangs' or adult-associated 'creches') and then used three cohorts of juvenile hihi, Notiomystis cincta, a threatened New Zealand passerine, to demonstrate how multistate modelling and social network analysis approaches can be used to characterize group type based on residency, movement, relatedness and social associations. At sites where hihi congregated, we found that juveniles were resighted at a higher frequency than adults and associated predominantly with unrelated juveniles rather than siblings or parents. Movement between group sites occurred, but associations developed predominantly within the sites. We suggest therefore that juvenile hihi social structure is most similar to a 'gang', a group structure in which juveniles congregate without adults at predictable sites. Such gangs have previously only been described formally in ravens, Corvus corax. By combining spatial and social network analyses, our study demonstrates how social group structures can be described and therefore facilitate broader comparisons and discussion about the form and function of juvenile groups across taxa. (C) 2020 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Pajunen, Virpi; Jyrkänkallio-Mikkola, Jenny; Luoto, Miska; Soininen, Janne (2019)
    Species occurrences are influenced by numerous factors whose effects may be context dependent. Thus, the magnitude of the effects and their relative importance to species distributions may vary among ecosystems due to anthropogenic stressors. To investigate context dependency in factors governing microbial bioindicators, we developed species distribution models (SDMs) for epilithic stream diatom species in human-impacted and pristine sites separately. We performed SDMs using boosted regression trees for 110 stream diatom species, which were common to both data sets, in 164 human-impacted and 164 pristine sites in Finland (covering similar to 1,000 km, 60 degrees to 68 degrees N). For each species and site group, two sets of models were conducted: climate model, comprising three climatic variables, and full model, comprising the climatic and six local environmental variables. No significant difference in model performance was found between the site groups. However, climatic variables had greater importance compared with local environmental variables in pristine sites, whereas local environmental variables had greater importance in human-impacted sites as hypothesized. Water balance and conductivity were the key variables in human-impacted sites. The relative importance of climatic and local environmental variables varied among individual species, but also between the site groups. We found a clear context dependency among the variables influencing stream diatom distributions as the most important factors varied both among species and between the site groups. In human-impacted streams, species distributions were mainly governed by water chemistry, whereas in pristine streams by climate. We suggest that climatic models may be suitable in pristine ecosystems, whereas the full models comprising both climatic and local environmental variables should be used in human-impacted ecosystems.
  • Nummi, Petri; Liao, Wenfei; van der Schoor, Juliette; Loehr, John (2021)
    Beavers (Castor spp.) are ecosystem engineers that induce local disturbance and ecological succession, which turns terrestrial into aquatic ecosystems and creates habitat heterogeneity in a landscape. Beavers have been proposed as a tool for biodiversity conservation and ecosystem restoration. So far, most research has compared biodiversity in beaver wetlands and non-beaver wetlands, but few studies have explored how beaver-created succession affects specific taxa. In this study, we investigated how water beetles responded to different successional stages of wetlands in a beaver-disturbed landscape at Evo in southern Finland. We sampled water beetles with 1-L activity traps in 20 ponds, including: 5 new beaver ponds, 5 old beaver ponds, 5 former beaver ponds, and 5 never engineered ponds. We found that beaver wetlands had higher species richness and abundance than non-beaver wetlands, and that new beaver wetlands could support higher species richness (321%) and abundance (671%) of water beetles compared to old beaver wetlands. We think that higher water beetle diversity in new beaver ponds has resulted from habitat amelioration (available lentic water, shallow shores, aquatic vegetation, and low fish abundance) and food source enhancement (an increase of both dead and live prey) created by beaver dams and floods. We conclude that using beavers as a tool, or imitating their way of flooding, can be beneficial in wetland restoration if beaver population densities are monitored to ensure the availability of newly colonizable sites.
  • Fraixedas, Sara; Burgas, Daniel; Robson, David; Camps, Joachim; Barriocanal, Carles (2020)
    Mediterranean European rice fields provide important habitats for migrating waterbirds. In winter. one waterbird species that particularly benefits from rice fields is the Northern Lapwing (VaneIlus vanellas), a species threatened in Europe. To assess the effect of agii-environmental measures on rice field selection and use by wintering lapwings, bird counts were conducted in northeastern Spain during two consecutive winters (2005-2006 and 2006-2007). Information on two mandatory post-harvest management prescriptions of the agri-environment schemes was collected, namely winter flooding (percent ground surface covered by water) and whether fields were rolled or not. The number of lapwings in rolled fields was significantly higher compared to non-rolled fields. For instance. an average rolled field with 50% water cover (percentage at which lapwing abundance more or less peaked) would host an estimated 12.03 +/- 0.52 SE lapwings versus 0.18 +/- 0.58 in a non-rolled field. While the maximum abundance of lapwings in rolled fields was found at an intermediate percentage of water cover (about 25 to 75%), the number of lapwings increased steadily with water cover in non-rolled fields. Rice post-harvest practices derived from the agri-environment schemes are beneficial for biodiversity, promoting the conservation of suitable habitats for waterbirds.
  • Rovelli, Lorenzo; Carreiro-Silva, Marina; Attard, Karl M.; Rakka, Maria; Dominguez-Carrio, Carlos; Bilan, Meri; Blackbird, Sabena; Morato, Telmo; Wolff, George A.; Glud, Ronnie N. (2022)
    Using the non-invasive aquatic eddy covariance technique, we provide the first oxygen (O-2) uptake rates from within coral gardens at the Condor seamount (Azores). To explore some of the key drivers of the benthic O-2 demand, we obtained benthic images, quantified local hydrodynamics, and estimated phototrophic biomass and deposition dynamics with a long-term moored sediment trap. The coral gardens were dominated by the octocorals Viminella flagellum and Dentomuricea aff. meteor. Daily rates of O-2 uptake within 3 targeted coral garden sites (203 to 206 m depth) ranged from 10.0 t 0.88 to 18.8 +/- 2.0 mmol m(-2) d(-1) (mean +/- SE) and were up to 10 times higher than 2 local sandy reference sites within the seamount summit area. The overall mean O-2 uptake rate for the garden (13.4 mmol m(-2) d(-1)) was twice the global mean for sedimentary habitats at comparable depths. Combined with parallel ex situ incubations, the results suggest that the octocorals might contribute just -similar to 5% of the observed O-2 uptake rates. Deposition of particulate organic matter (POM) assessed by the sediment trap accounted for less than 10% of the O-2 demand of the coral garden, implying a substantial POM supply circumventing the deployed traps. Our results expand the database for carbon turnover rates in cold-water coral habitats by including the first estimates from these largely understudied coral gardens.
  • Andersen, Line Holm; Nummi, Petri; Rafn, Jeppe; Frederiksen, Cecilie Majgaard Skak; Kristjansen, Mads Prengel; Lauridsen, Torben Linding; Trojelsgaard, Kristian; Pertoldi, Cino; Bruhn, Dan; Bahrndorff, Simon (2021)
    The succession-driven reed bed habitat hosts a unique flora and fauna including several endangered invertebrate species. Reed beds can be managed through commercial winter harvest, with implications for reed bed conservation. However, the effects of winter harvest on the invertebrate community are not well understood and vary across studies and taxonomic levels. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of reed harvest on invertebrate communities. Ground-dwelling and aerial invertebrates were continuously sampled for 10 weeks in the largest coherent reed bed of Scandinavia in order to assess how time since last reed harvest (0, 3, and 25years) influences invertebrate biomass, biodiversity and community structure across taxonomic levels. Biomass was measured and all specimens were sorted to order level, and Coleoptera was even sorted to species level. The invertebrate community showed distinct compositional differences across the three reed bed ages. Furthermore, biomass of both aerial and ground-dwelling invertebrates was highest in the age-0 reed bed and lowest in the age-25 reed bed. Generally, biodiversity showed an opposite trend with the highest richness and diversity in the age-25 reed bed. We conclude that it is possible to ensure high insect biomass and diversity by creating a mosaic of reed bed of different ages through small-scale harvest in the largest coherent reed bed in Scandinavia. The youngest red beds support a high invertebrate biomass whereas the oldest reed beds support a high biodiversity. Collectively, this elevate our understanding of reed harvest and the effects it has on the invertebrate communities, and might aid in future reed bed management and restoration.
  • Mammola, Stefano; Pétillon, Julien; Hacala, Axel; Monsimet, Jérémy; Marti, Sapho-Lou; Cardoso, Pedro; Lafage, Denis (2021)
    Aim Species distribution models (SDMs) have emerged as essential tools in the equipment of many ecologists, useful to explore species distributions in space and time and answering an assortment of questions related to biogeography, climate change biology and conservation biology. Historically, most SDM research concentrated on well-known organisms, especially vertebrates. In recent years, these tools are becoming increasingly important for predicting the distribution of understudied invertebrate taxa. Here, we reviewed the literature published on main terrestrial arthropod predators (ants, ground beetles and spiders) to explore some of the challenges and opportunities of species distribution modelling in mega-diverse arthropod groups. Location Global. Methods Systematic mapping of the literature and bibliometric analysis. Results Most SDM studies of animals to date have focused either on broad samples of vertebrates or on arthropod species that are charismatic (e.g. butterflies) or economically important (e.g. vectors of disease, crop pests and pollinators). We show that the use of SDMs to map the geography of terrestrial arthropod predators is a nascent phenomenon, with a near-exponential growth in the number of studies over the past ten years and still limited collaborative networks among researchers. There is a bias in studies towards charismatic species and geographical areas that hold lower levels of diversity but greater availability of data, such as Europe and North America. Conclusions Arthropods pose particular modelling challenges that add to the ones already present for vertebrates, but they should also offer opportunities for future SDM research as data and new methods are made available. To overcome data limitations, we illustrate the potential of modern data sources and new modelling approaches. We discuss areas of research where SDMs may be combined with dispersal models and increasingly available phylogenetic and functional data to understand evolutionary changes in ranges and range-limiting traits over past and contemporary time-scales.
  • Milicic, Marija; Popov, Snezana; Vujic, Ante; Ivosevic, Bojana; Cardoso, Pedro (2020)
    1. Dark diversity represents the set of species that can potentially inhabit a given area under particular ecological conditions, but are currently 'missing' from a site. This concept allows characterisation of the mechanisms determining why species are sometimes absent from an area that seems ecologically suitable for them. 2. The aim of this study was to determine the dark diversity of hoverflies in south-eastern Europe and to discuss the role of different functional traits that might increase the likelihood of species contributing to dark diversity. Based on expert opinion, the Syrph the Net database and known occurrences of species, the study estimated species pools, and observed and dark diversities within each of 11 defined vegetation types for 564 hoverfly species registered in south-eastern Europe. To detect the most important functional traits contributing to species being in dark diversity across different vegetation types, a random forest algorithm and respective statistics for variable importance were used. 3. The highest dark diversity was found for southwest Balkan sub-Mediterranean mixed oak forest type, whereas the lowest was in Mediterranean mixed forest type. Three larval feeding modes (saproxylic, and phytophagous on bulbs or roots) were found to be most important for determining the probability of a species contributing to hoverfly dark diversity, based on univariate correlations and random forest analysis. 4. This study shows that studying dark diversity might provide important insights into what drives community assembly in south-eastern European hoverflies, especially its missing components, and contributes to more precise conservation prioritisation of both hoverfly species and their habitats.
  • Abrego, Nerea; Garcia-Baquero, Gonzalo; Halme, Panu; Ovaskainen, Otso; Salcedo, Isabel (2014)
  • Meramo, Katarina; Lilley, Thomas M.; Laine, Veronika; Ovaskainen, Otso; Bernard, Enrico; Rodrigues Silva, Carina (2022)
    For prioritizing conservation actions, it is vital to understand how ecologically diverse species respond to environmental change caused by human activity. This is particularly necessary considering that chronic human disturbance is a threat to biodiversity worldwide. Depending on how species tolerate and adapt to such disturbance, ecological integrity and ecosystem services will be more or less affected. Bats are a species-rich and functionally diverse group, with important roles in ecosystems, and are therefore recognized as a good model group for assessing the impact of environmental change. Their populations have decreased in several regions, especially in the tropics, and are threatened by increasing human disturbance. Using passive acoustic monitoring, we assessed how the species-rich aerial insectivorous bats—essential for insect suppression services—respond to chronic human disturbance in the Caatinga dry forests of Brazil, an area potentially harboring ca. 100 bat species (nearly 50% are insectivorous), but with > 60% its area composed of anthropogenic ecosystems under chronic pressure. Acoustic data for bat activity was collected at research sites with varying amounts of chronic human disturbance (e.g., livestock grazing and firewood gathering). The intensity of the disturbance is indicated by the global multi-metric CAD index (GMDI). Using Animal Sound Identifier (ASI) software, we identified 18 different bat taxon units. Using Hierarchical Modeling of Species Communities (HMSC), we found trends in the association of the disturbance gradient with species richness and bat activity: species richness was higher at sites with higher human disturbance, whereas bat activity decreased with increasing human disturbance. Additionally, we observed taxon-specific responses to human disturbance. We conclude that the effects of chronic anthropogenic disturbance on the insectivorous bat fauna in the Caatinga are not homogeneous and a species-specific approach is necessary when assessing the responses of local bats to human disturbances in tropical dry forests, and in other biomes under human pressure.
  • Rocha, Ricardo; Ferreira, Diogo F.; Lopez-Baucells, Adria; Farneda, Fabio Z.; Carreiras, Joao M. B.; Palmeirim, Jorge M.; Meyer, Christoph F. J. (2017)
    Understanding the consequences of habitat modification on wildlife communities is central to the development of conservation strategies. However, albeit male and female individuals of numerous species are known to exhibit differences in habitat use, sex-specific responses to habitat modification remain little explored. Here, we used a landscape-scale fragmentation experiment to assess, separately for males and females, the effects of fragmentation on the abundance of Carollia perspicillata and Rhinophylla pumilio, two widespread Neotropical frugivorous bats. We predicted that sex-specific responses would arise from higher energetic requirements from pregnancy and lactation in females. Analyses were conducted independently for each season, and we further investigated the joint responses to local and landscape-scale metrics of habitat quality, composition, and configuration. Although males and females responded similarly to a fragmentation gradient composed by continuous forest, fragment interiors, edges, and matrix habitats, we found marked differences between sexes in habitat use for at least one of the seasons. Whereas the sex ratio varied little in continuous forest and fragment interiors, females were found to be more abundant than males in edge and matrix habitats. This difference was more prominent in the dry season, the reproductive season of both species. For both species, abundance responses to local-and landscape-scale predictors differed between sexes and again, differences were more pronounced in the dry season. The results suggest considerable sex-mediated responses to forest disruption and degradation in tropical bats and complement our understanding of the impacts of fragmentation on tropical forest vertebrate communities. Abstract in Portuguese is available with online material.
  • Strona, Giovanni; Beck, Pieter S. A.; Cabeza, Mar; Fattorini, Simone; Guilhaumon, Francois; Micheli, Fiorenza; Montano, Simone; Ovaskainen, Otso; Planes, Serge; Veech, Joseph A.; Parravicini, Valeriano (2021)
    yEcosystems face both local hazards, such as over-exploitation, and global hazards, such as climate change. Since the impact of local hazards attenuates with distance from humans, local extinction risk should decrease with remoteness, making faraway areas safe havens for biodiversity. However, isolation and reduced anthropogenic disturbance may increase ecological specialization in remote communities, and hence their vulnerability to secondary effects of diversity loss propagating through networks of interacting species. We show this to be true for reef fish communities across the globe. An increase in fish-coral dependency with the distance of coral reefs from human settlements, paired with the far-reaching impacts of global hazards, increases the risk of fish species loss, counteracting the benefits of remoteness. Hotspots of fish risk from fish-coral dependency are distinct from those caused by direct human impacts, increasing the number of risk hotspots by similar to 30% globally. These findings might apply to other ecosystems on Earth and depict a world where no place, no matter how remote, is safe for biodiversity, calling for a reconsideration of global conservation priorities.
  • Fattorini, Simone; Mantoni, Cristina; Di Biase, Letizia; Strona, Giovanni; Pace, Loretta; Biondi, Maurizio (2020)
    The concept of generic diversity expresses the 'diversification' of species into genera in a community. Since niche overlap is assumed to be higher in congeneric species, competition should increase generic diversity. On the other hand, generic diversity might be lower in highly selective environments, where only species with similar adaptations can survive. We used the distribution of tenebrionid beetles in Central Italy to investigate how generic diversity varies with elevation from sea level to 2400 m altitude. Generic diversity of geophilous tenebrionids decreased sharply with elevation, whereas the generic diversity of xylophilous tenebrionids showed similarly high values across the gradient. These results suggest that geophilous species are more sensitive to variation in environmental factors, and that the advantages of close relationships (similar adaptations to harsh conditions) are greater than the possible drawbacks (competition). This is consistent with the fact that geophilous tenebrionids are mostly generalist detritivores, and hence weakly affected by competition for resources. By contrast, xylophilous species are more protected from harsh/selective conditions, but more limited by competition for microhabitats and food. Our results support the environmental filtering hypothesis for the species composition of tenebrionid beetles along an elevational gradient.
  • Herro, Annie; Obeng-Odoom, Franklin (2019)
    As an institution that often seeks to redress global inequality and poverty, philanthropy is commonly dismissed as either masking structural causes, an insufficient response, or a contribution to the problem itself. Either way, philanthropy is increasingly labelled as philanthro-capitalism because it serves the interest of capital. But what about philanthropy that engages, seeks to transcend, and tries to provide alternatives to the status quo? Such philanthropies have been highlighted in the literature, but their radical foundations could be further clarified. In seeking to do so, this article (a) engages a radical theory of poverty, (b) teases out key principles of radical philanthropy, and (c) critically highlights the need to consider radical philanthropy as an alternative to philanthro-capitalism. Radical philanthropy is quite distinct and, while it can be unrealistic for individual foundations to embody all its principles, as a collective, they can be considered as one important and concrete contribution towards realising the aphorism, popularised by the World Social Forum, that 'another world is possible'.
  • Hayden, B.; Harrod, C.; Thomas, S. M.; Eloranta, A. P.; Myllykangas, J.-P.; Siwertsson, A.; Praebel, K.; Knudsen, R.; Amundsen, P-A; Kahilainen, K. K. (2019)
    Climate change and the intensification of land use practices are causing widespread eutrophication of subarctic lakes. The implications of this rapid change for lake ecosystem function remain poorly understood. To assess how freshwater communities respond to such profound changes in their habitat and resource availability, we conducted a space-for-time analysis of food-web structure in 30 lakes situated across a temperature-productivity gradient equivalent to the predicted future climate of subarctic Europe (temperature +3 degrees C, precipitation +30% and nutrient +45 mu g L-1 total phosphorus). Along this gradient, we observed an increase in the assimilation of pelagic-derived carbon from 25 to 75% throughout primary, secondary and tertiary consumers. This shift was overwhelmingly driven by the consumption of pelagic detritus by benthic primary consumers and was not accompanied by increased pelagic foraging by higher trophic level consumers. Our data also revealed a convergence of the carbon isotope ratios of pelagic and benthic food web endmembers in the warmest, most productive lakes indicating that the incorporation of terrestrial derived carbon into aquatic food webs increases as land use intensifies. These results, reflecting changes along a gradient characteristic of the predicted future environment throughout the subarctic, indicate that climate and land use driven eutrophication and browning are radically altering the function and fuelling of aquatic food webs in this biome.
  • Rigal, Francois; Cardoso, Pedro; Lobo, Jorge M.; Triantis, Kostas A.; Whittaker, Robert J.; Amorim, Isabel R.; Borges, Paulo A. V. (2018)
    Aim: Land-use change typically goes hand in hand with the introduction of exotic-species, which mingle with indigenous species to form novel assemblages. Here, we compare the functional structure of indigenous and exotic elements of ground-dwelling arthropod assemblages across four land-uses of varying management intensity. Location: Terceira Island (Azores, North Atlantic). Methods: We used pitfall traps to sample arthropods in 36 sites across the four land-uses and collated traits related to dispersal ability, body size and resource use. For both indigenous and exotic species, we examined the impact of land-uses on trait diversity and tested for the existence of non-random assembly processes using null models. We analysed differences in trait composition among land-uses for both indigenous and exotic species with multivariate analyses. We used point-biserial correlations to identity traits significantly correlated with specific land-uses for each element. Results: We recorded 86 indigenous and 116 exotic arthropod species. Under high-intensity land-use, both indigenous and exotic elements showed significant trait clustering. Trait composition strongly shifted across land-uses, with indigenous and exotic species being functionally dissimilar in all land-uses. Large-bodied herbivores dominated exotic elements in low-intensity land-uses, while small-bodied spiders dominated exotic elements in high-intensity land-uses. In contrast, with increasing land-use intensity, indigenous species changed from functionally diverse to being dominated by piercing and cutting herbivores. Main conclusions: Our study revealed two main findings: first, in high-intensity - land-uses, trait clustering characterized both indigenous and exotic elements; second, exotic species differed in their functional profile from indigenous species in all land-use types. Overall, our results provide new insights into the functional role of exotic species in a land-use context, suggesting that, in agricultural landscape, exotic species may contribute positively to the maintenance of some ecosystem functions.
  • Santangeli, Andrea; Toivonen, Tuuli; Pouzols, Federico Montesino; Pogson, Mark; Hastings, Astley; Smith, Pete; Moilanen, Atte (2016)
    Reliance on fossil fuels is causing unprecedented climate change and is accelerating environmental degradation and global biodiversity loss. Together, climate change and biodiversity loss, if not averted urgently, may inflict severe damage on ecosystem processes, functions and services that support the welfare of modern societies. Increasing renewable energy deployment and expanding the current protected area network represent key solutions to these challenges, but conflicts may arise over the use of limited land for energy production as opposed to biodiversity conservation. Here, we compare recently identified core areas for the expansion of the global protected area network with the renewable energy potential available from land-based solar photovoltaic, wind energy and bioenergy (in the form of Miscanthusxgiganteus). We show that these energy sources have very different biodiversity impacts and net energy contributions. The extent of risks and opportunities deriving from renewable energy development is highly dependent on the type of renewable source harvested, the restrictions imposed on energy harvest and the region considered, with Central America appearing at particularly high potential risk from renewable energy expansion. Without restrictions on power generation due to factors such as production and transport costs, we show that bioenergy production is a major potential threat to biodiversity, while the potential impact of wind and solar appears smaller than that of bioenergy. However, these differences become reduced when energy potential is restricted by external factors including local energy demand. Overall, we found that areas of opportunity for developing solar and wind energy with little harm to biodiversity could exist in several regions of the world, with the magnitude of potential impact being particularly dependent on restrictions imposed by local energy demand. The evidence provided here helps guide sustainable development of renewable energy and contributes to the targeting of global efforts in climate mitigation and biodiversity conservation.
  • Mod, Heidi K.; Scherrer, Daniel; Di Cola, Valeria; Broennimann, Olivier; Blandenier, Quentin; Breiner, Frank T.; Buri, Aline; Goudet, Jerome; Guex, Nicolas; Lara, Enrique; Mitchell, Edward A. D.; Niculita-Hirzel, Helene; Pagni, Marco; Pellissier, Loic; Pinto-Figueroa, Eric; Sanders, Ian R.; Schmidt, Benedikt R.; Seppey, Christophe V. W.; Singer, David; Ursenbacher, Sylvain; Yashiro, Erika; van der Meer, Jan R.; Guisan, Antoine (2020)
    Assessing the degree to which climate explains the spatial distributions of different taxonomic and functional groups is essential for anticipating the effects of climate change on ecosystems. Most effort so far has focused on above-ground organisms, which offer only a partial view on the response of biodiversity to environmental gradients. Here including both above- and below-ground organisms, we quantified the degree of topoclimatic control on the occurrence patterns of >1,500 taxa and phylotypes along a c. 3,000 m elevation gradient, by fitting species distribution models. Higher model performances for animals and plants than for soil microbes (fungi, bacteria and protists) suggest that the direct influence of topoclimate is stronger on above-ground species than on below-ground microorganisms. Accordingly, direct climate change effects are predicted to be stronger for above-ground than for below-ground taxa, whereas factors expressing local soil microclimate and geochemistry are likely more important to explain and forecast the occurrence patterns of soil microbiota. Detailed mapping and future scenarios of soil microclimate and microhabitats, together with comparative studies of interacting and ecologically dependent above- and below-ground biota, are thus needed to understand and realistically forecast the future distribution of ecosystems.