Browsing by Subject "community composition"

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  • Mykrä, Heikki; Kuoppala, Minna; Nykänen, Vesa; Tolonen, Katri; Turunen, Jarno; Vilmi, Annika; Karjalainen, Satu Maaria (Elsevier, 2021)
    Journal of Environmental Management 278, Part 2 (2021), 111532
    Mining has changed landscapes locally in northern Fennoscandia and there is an increasing pressure for exploitation of the remaining mineral deposits of the region. Mineral deposits, even if unmined, can strongly influence stream water chemistry, stream biological communities and the ability of organisms to tolerate stressors. Using data sampled from six mining areas with three active (gold and chrome), two closed (gold) and one planned mine (phosphate), we examined how mineral deposits and mining influence water chemistry and diatom and macroinvertebrate communities in subarctic streams in Finnish Lapland. We supplemented the data by additional samples compiled from databases and further assessed how variation in background geological conditions influences bioassessments of the impacts arising from mining. We found that water specific conductivity was elevated in our study streams draining through catchments with a high mineral potential. Mining effects were mainly seen as increased concentration of nitrogen. Influence of mineral deposits was detected in composition of diatom and macroinvertebrate communities, but communities in streams in areas with a high mineral potential were as diverse as those in streams in areas with a low mineral potential. Mining impacts were better detected for diatoms using a reference condition based on sites with a high than low mineral potential, while for macroinvertebrates, the responses were generally less evident, likely because of only minor effects of mining on water chemistry. Community composition and frequencies of occurrence of macroinvertebrate taxa were, however, highly similar between mine-influenced streams and reference streams with a high potential for minerals indicating that the communities are strongly structured by the natural influence of mineral deposits. Incorporating geochemistry into the reference condition would likely improve bioassessments of both taxonomic groups. Replicated monitoring in potentially impacted sites and reference sites would be the most efficient framework for detecting environmental impacts in streams draining through mineral-rich catchments.
  • Lukkarinen, Vaula (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    Northern white cedar (Thuja occidentalis L.) (NWC) swamps are valuable both commercially and ecologically. Unfortunately, many NWC swamps are degraded and information about them is not abundant. Especially there have been no definitive studies about mosses in northern white cedar swamps and how they react to disturbances. Mosses are sensitive to changes in their environment and thus they could be used to assess ecosystem conditions of NWC swamps. The objective of this study was to determine if mosses could be used to asses conditions in NWC swamps and if there are differences between moss communities in disturbed and undisturbed sites. Seventeen sample plots were taken from 12 disturbed and undisturbed sites around upper Michigan and northern Minnesota in the summer of 2012. All mosses occurring on the plots were identified and several associated environmental parameters were measured. The main environmental conditions affecting moss communities were identified with non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMS). Multiple response permutation procedures (MRPP) were run to ascertain if there were significant differences in community composition between disturbances. Indicator species analysis was then done to identify species that are related to different types of disturbances. A one-way ANOVA was used to check for significant differences between species richness and moss cover of undisturbed and disturbed sites. Over all sixty-two moss species were identified. The results indicate that there was no significant difference in species richness or moss cover between disturbed and undisturbed sites. However, moss community composition was affected by disturbance and strongly divided by a wetness gradient. Dicranum fuscescens was found to indicate undisturbed conditions. Calliergon cordifolium and Climacium dendroides indicated disturbed sites with wet conditions. Brotherella recurvans and Eurhynchium pulchellum indicated swamps with other disturbances.
  • Alahuhta, Janne; Rosbakh, Sergey; Chepinoga, Victor; Heino, Jani (Springer Link, 2020)
    Aquatic Sciences 82 2 (2020)
    We investigated whether environmental filtering or dispersal-related factors mostly drive helophyte and hydrophyte species richness and community composition in 93 lakes situated in Baikal Siberia. Using partial linear regression and partial redundancy analysis, we studied (1) what are the relative roles of environmental variables, dispersal variables, spatial processes and region identity (i.e., river basins) in explaining variation in the species richness and species composition of helophytes and hydrophytes across 93 Siberian lakes, and (2) what are the differences in the most important explanatory variables driving community variation in helophytes versus hydrophytes? We found that, for both species richness and species composition, environmental variables clearly explained most variation for both plant groups, followed by region identity and dispersal-related variables. Spatial variables were significant only for the species composition of hydrophytes. Nutrient-salinity index, a proxy for habitat trophic-salinity status, was by far the most significant environmental determinant of helophytes and hydrophytes. Our results indicate that environmental factors explained the most variation in both species richness and species composition of helophytes and hydrophytes. Nevertheless, dispersal-related variables (i.e. spatial and dispersal) were also influential but less important than environmental factors. Furthermore, the dispersal-related variables were more important for hydrophytes than for helophytes. Most brackish permanent lakes were mostly located in the steppe biomes of southern Transbaikalia. This characteristic along with the oldest age, the largest distances to both river and settlements and the lowest temperatures in the study region distinguished them from freshwater, drained and more nutrient-rich floodplain lakes.
  • Hakkila, Matti; Abrego, Nerea; Ovaskainen, Otso; Monkkonen, Mikko (2018)
    Protected areas are meant to preserve native local communities within their boundaries, but they are not independent from their surroundings. Impoverished habitat quality in the matrix might influence the species composition within the protected areas through biotic homogenization. The aim of this study was to determine the impacts of matrix quality on species richness and trait composition of bird communities from the Finnish reserve area network and whether the communities are being subject of biotic homogenization due to the lowered quality of the landscape matrix. We used joint species distribution modeling to study how characteristics of the Finnish forest reserves and the quality of their surrounding matrix alter species and trait compositions of forest birds. The proportion of old forest within the reserves was the main factor in explaining the bird community composition, and the bird communities within the reserves did not strongly depend on the quality of the matrix. Yet, in line with the homogenization theory, the beta-diversity within reserves embedded in low-quality matrix was lower than that in high-quality matrix, and the average abundance of regionally abundant species was higher. Influence of habitat quality on bird community composition was largely explained by the species' functional traits. Most importantly, the community specialization index was low, and average body size was high in areas with low proportion of old forest. We conclude that for conserving local bird communities in northern Finnish protected forests, it is currently more important to improve or maintain habitat quality within the reserves than in the surrounding matrix. Nevertheless, we found signals of bird community homogenization, and thus, activities that decrease the quality of the matrix are a threat for bird communities.
  • Virta, Leena; Soininen, Janne; Norkko, Alf (2020)
    The global biodiversity loss has raised interest in the different facets of diversity, and the importance of diversity for ecosystem functions has been recognized. However, our knowledge on seasonal and inter-annual variation in the composition and diversity of communities is still poor. Here, we investigated the seasonal and inter-annual changes in taxonomic and functional community composition and diversity of benthic diatoms in a coastal habitat of the northern Baltic Sea, where seasonal and inter-annual variation of climate is pronounced. We found that the taxonomic and functional alpha diversity remained stable at seasonal and inter-annual level despite strong changes in community composition. However, alpha diversity decreased during an exceptionally warm winter possibly due to disturbances induced by the lack of ice. This may suggest that climate warming and consequently limited ice cover will affect the diversity of benthic communities.
  • Craven, Dylan; Thakur, Madhav P.; Cameron, Erin K.; Frelich, Lee E.; Beausejour, Robin; Blair, Robert B.; Blossey, Bernd; Burtis, James; Choi, Amy; Davalos, Andrea; Fahey, Timothy J.; Fisichelli, Nicholas A.; Gibson, Kevin; Handa, I. Tanya; Hopfensperger, Kristine; Loss, Scott R.; Nuzzo, Victoria; Maerz, John C.; Sackett, Tara; Scharenbroch, Bryant C.; Smith, Sandy M.; Vellend, Mark; Umek, Lauren G.; Eisenhauer, Nico (2017)
    Globally, biological invasions can have strong impacts on biodiversity as well as ecosystem functioning. While less conspicuous than introduced aboveground organisms, introduced belowground organisms may have similarly strong effects. Here, we synthesize for the first time the impacts of introduced earthworms on plant diversity and community composition in North American forests. We conducted a meta-analysis using a total of 645 observations to quantify mean effect sizes of associations between introduced earthworm communities and plant diversity, cover of plant functional groups, and cover of native and non-native plants. We found that plant diversity significantly declined with increasing richness of introduced earthworm ecological groups. While plant species richness or evenness did not change with earthworm invasion, our results indicate clear changes in plant community composition: cover of graminoids and non-native plant species significantly increased, and cover of native plant species (of all functional groups) tended to decrease, with increasing earthworm biomass. Overall, these findings support the hypothesis that introduced earthworms facilitate particular plant species adapted to the abiotic conditions of earthworm-invaded forests. Further, our study provides evidence that introduced earthworms are associated with declines in plant diversity in North American forests. Changing plant functional composition in these forests may have long-lasting effects on ecosystem functioning.
  • Thomas, H. J. D.; Myers-Smith, I. H.; Bjorkman, A. D.; Elmendorf, S. C.; Blok, D.; Cornelissen, J. H. C.; Forbes, B. C.; Hollister, R. D.; Normand, S.; Prevey, J. S.; Rixen, C.; Schaepman-Strub, G.; Wilmking, M.; Wipf, S.; Cornwell, W. K.; Kattge, J.; Goetz, S. J.; Guay, K. C.; Alatalo, J. M.; Anadon-Rosell, A.; Angers-Blondin, S.; Berner, L. T.; Bjork, R. G.; Buchwal, A.; Buras, A.; Carbognani, M.; Christie, K.; Collier, L. Siegwart; Cooper, E. J.; Eskelinen, A.; Frei, E. R.; Grau, O.; Grogan, P.; Hallinger, M.; Heijmans, M. M. P. D.; Hermanutz, L.; Hudson, J. M. G.; Huelber, K.; Iturrate-Garcia, M.; Iversen, C. M.; Jaroszynska, F.; Johnstone, J. F.; Kaarlejärvi, E.; Kulonen, A.; Lamarque, L. J.; Levesque, E.; Little, C. J.; Michelsen, A.; Milbau, A.; Nabe-Nielsen, J.; Nielsen, S. S.; Ninot, J. M.; Oberbauer, S. F.; Olofsson, J.; Onipchenko, V. G.; Petraglia, A.; Rumpf, S. B.; Semenchuk, P. R.; Soudzilovskaia, N. A.; Spasojevic, M. J.; Speed, J. D. M.; Tape, K. D.; te Beest, M.; Tomaselli, M.; Trant, A.; Treier, U. A.; Venn, S.; Vowles, T.; Weijers, S.; Zamin, T.; Atkin, O. K.; Bahn, M.; Blonder, B.; Campetella, G.; Cerabolini, B. E. L.; Chapin, F. S.; Dainese, M.; de Vries, F. T.; Diaz, S.; Green, W.; Jackson, R. B.; Manning, P.; Niinemets, U.; Ozinga, W. A.; Penuelas, J.; Reich, P. B.; Schamp, B.; Sheremetev, S.; van Bodegom, P. M. (2019)
    Aim Plant functional groups are widely used in community ecology and earth system modelling to describe trait variation within and across plant communities. However, this approach rests on the assumption that functional groups explain a large proportion of trait variation among species. We test whether four commonly used plant functional groups represent variation in six ecologically important plant traits. Location Tundra biome. Time period Data collected between 1964 and 2016. Major taxa studied 295 tundra vascular plant species. Methods We compiled a database of six plant traits (plant height, leaf area, specific leaf area, leaf dry matter content, leaf nitrogen, seed mass) for tundra species. We examined the variation in species-level trait expression explained by four traditional functional groups (evergreen shrubs, deciduous shrubs, graminoids, forbs), and whether variation explained was dependent upon the traits included in analysis. We further compared the explanatory power and species composition of functional groups to alternative classifications generated using post hoc clustering of species-level traits. Results Traditional functional groups explained significant differences in trait expression, particularly amongst traits associated with resource economics, which were consistent across sites and at the biome scale. However, functional groups explained 19% of overall trait variation and poorly represented differences in traits associated with plant size. Post hoc classification of species did not correspond well with traditional functional groups, and explained twice as much variation in species-level trait expression. Main conclusions Traditional functional groups only coarsely represent variation in well-measured traits within tundra plant communities, and better explain resource economic traits than size-related traits. We recommend caution when using functional group approaches to predict tundra vegetation change, or ecosystem functions relating to plant size, such as albedo or carbon storage. We argue that alternative classifications or direct use of specific plant traits could provide new insights for ecological prediction and modelling.
  • Happonen, Konsta; Muurinen, Lauralotta; Virtanen, Risto; Kaakinen, Eero; Grytnes, John-Arvid; Kaarlejarvi, Elina; Parisot, Philippe; Wolff, Matias; Maliniemi, Tuija (2021)
    Aim Land use is the foremost cause of global biodiversity decline, but species do not respond equally to land-use practices. Instead, it is suggested that responses vary with species traits, but long-term data on the trait-mediated effects of land use on communities are scarce. Here we study how forest understorey communities have been affected by two land-use practices during 4-5 decades, and whether changes in plant diversity are related to changes in functional composition. Location Finland. Time period 1968-2019. Major taxa studied Vascular plants. Methods We resurveyed 245 vegetation plots in boreal herb-rich forest understories, and used hierarchical Bayesian linear models to relate changes in diversity, species composition, average plant size, and leaf economic traits to reindeer abundance, forest management intensity, and changes in climate, canopy cover and composition. We also studied the relationship between species evenness and plant size across both space and time. Results Intensively managed forests decreased in species richness and had increased turnover, but management did not affect functional composition. Increased reindeer densities corresponded with increased leaf dry matter content, evenness and diversity, and decreased height and specific leaf area. Successional development in the canopy was associated with increased specific leaf area and decreased leaf dry matter content and height in the understorey over the study period. Effects of reindeer abundance and canopy density on diversity were partially mediated by vegetation height, which had a negative relationship with evenness across both space and time. Observed changes in climate had no discernible effect on any variable. Main conclusions Functional traits are useful in connecting vegetation changes to the mechanisms that drive them, and provide unique information compared to turnover and diversity metrics. These trait-dependent selection effects could inform which species benefit and which suffer from land-use changes and explain observed biodiversity changes under global change.