Browsing by Subject "patterns"

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  • Kulha, Niko Aleksi; Pasanen, Leena; Holmström, Lasse; Grandpre, Louis de; Kuuluvainen, Timo Tapio; Aakala, Tuomas (2019)
    Identifying the scales of variation in forest structures and the underlying processes are fundamental for understanding forest dynamics. Here, we studied these scale-dependencies in forest structure in naturally dynamic boreal forests on two continents. We identified the spatial scales at which forest structures varied, and analyzed how the scales of variation and the underlying drivers differed among the regions and at particular scales. We studied three 2kmx2km landscapes in northeastern Finland and two in eastern Canada. We estimated canopy cover in contiguous 0.1-ha cells from aerial photographs and used scale-derivative analysis to identify characteristic scales of variation in the canopy cover data. We analyzed the patterns of variation at these scales using Bayesian scale space analysis. We identified structural variation at three spatial scales in each landscape. Among landscapes, the largest scale of variation showed the greatest variability (20.1-321.4ha), related to topography, soil variability, and long-term disturbance history. Superimposed on this large-scale variation, forest structure varied at similar scales (1.3-2.8ha) in all landscapes. This variation correlated with recent disturbances, soil variability, and topographic position. We also detected intense variation at the smallest scale analyzed (0.1ha, grain of our data), partly driven by recent disturbances. The distinct scales of variation indicated hierarchical structure in the landscapes studied. Except for the large-scale variation, these scales were remarkably similar among the landscapes. This suggests that boreal forests may display characteristic scales of variation that occur somewhat independent of the tree species characteristics or the disturbance regime.
  • Heino, Jani; Alahuhta, Janne (Royal Entomological Society / Wiley & Sons, 2019)
    Ecological Entomology 44: 413-424
    1. Ecogeographical rules refer to recurring patterns in nature, including the latitudinal diversity gradient (LDG), Rapoport's rule and Bergmann's rule, amongst others. In the present study, the existence of these rules was examined for diving beetles (Coleoptera: Dytiscidae), a family of aquatic predatory beetles. 2. Assemblage-level data were analysed for diving beetles, focusing on species richness, local contribution to beta diversity (LCBD), mean range size and mean body size across the biogeographical provinces of Northern Europe. First, each of these variables was correlated with latitude, and then variation in each variable was modelled using actual environmental variables in boosted regression tree analysis. 3. Species richness was found to decrease with latitude, LCBD increased with latitude, mean range size did not show a significant relationship with latitude, and mean body size decreased with latitude. The latter finding was in contrast to Bergmann's rule. The actual environmental variables best predicting variation in these four response variables varied among the models, although they generally included temperature-related and land use variables as the most influential ones. 4. The results obtained in the present study suggest that diving beetles conformed to the LDG, did not follow Rapoport's rule, and showed a reversed latitudinal gradient in the context of Bergmann's rule. In addition, species-poor provinces harboured ecologically most unique faunas, suggesting that species richness and LCBD are complementary measures of biodiversity. 5. Even though general support was not found for most of the ecogeographical rules examined, the findings of the present study are interesting because they suggest that aquatic ectothermic invertebrates may show patterns different from those originally described for terrestrial endothermic vertebrates.
  • García-Girón, Jorge; Heino, Jani; Iversen, Lars Lønsmann; Helm, Aveliina; Alahuhta, Janne (Elsevier, 2021)
    Science of The Total Environment 786 (2021), 147491
    Patterns of species rarity have long fascinated ecologists, yet most of what we know about the natural world stems from studies of common species. A large proportion of freshwater plant species has small range sizes and are therefore considered rare. However, little is known about the mechanisms and geographical distribution of rarity in the aquatic realm and to what extent diversity of rare species in freshwater plants follows their terrestrial counterparts. Here, we present the first in–depth analysis of geographical patterns, potential deterministic ecogeographical factors and projected scenarios of freshwater vascular plant rarity using 50 × 50 km grid cells across Europe (41°N–71°N) and North America (25°N–78°N). Our results suggest that diversity of rare species shows different patterns in relation to latitude on the two continents, and that hotspots of rarity concentrate in a relatively small proportion of the European and North American land surface, especially in mountainous as well as in climatically rare and stable areas. Interestingly, we found no differences among alternative rarity definitions and measures when delineating areas with notably high diversity of rare species. Our findings also indicate that few variables, namely a combination of current climate, Late Quaternary climate–change velocity and human footprint, are able to accurately predict the location of continental centers of rare species diversity. However, these relationships are not geographically homogeneous, and the underlying factors likely act synergistically. Perhaps more importantly, we provide empirical evidence that current centers of rare species diversity are characterized by higher anthropogenic impacts and might shrink disproportionately within this century as the climate changes. Our reported distributional patterns of species rarity align with the known trends in species richness of other freshwater organisms and may help conservation planners make informed decisions mitigating the effects of climate change and other anthropogenic impacts on biodiversity.