Geomorphological processes shape plant community traits in the Arctic

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Kemppinen , J , Niittynen , P , Happonen , K , le Roux , P C , Aalto , J , Hjort , J , Maliniemi , T , Karjalainen , O , Rautakoski , H & Luoto , M 2022 , ' Geomorphological processes shape plant community traits in the Arctic ' , Global Ecology and Biogeography , vol. 31 , no. 7 , pp. 1381-1398 . https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.13512

Title: Geomorphological processes shape plant community traits in the Arctic
Author: Kemppinen, Julia; Niittynen, Pekka; Happonen, Konsta; le Roux, Peter C.; Aalto, Juha; Hjort, Jan; Maliniemi, Tuija; Karjalainen, Olli; Rautakoski, Helena; Luoto, Miska
Contributor organization: Department of Geosciences and Geography
Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS)
BioGeoClimate Modelling Lab
Date: 2022-07
Language: eng
Number of pages: 18
Belongs to series: Global Ecology and Biogeography
ISSN: 1466-822X
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.13512
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/345516
Abstract: Aim Geomorphological processes profoundly affect plant establishment and distributions, but their influence on functional traits is insufficiently understood. Here, we unveil trait-geomorphology relationships in Arctic plant communities. Location High-Arctic Svalbard, low-Arctic Greenland and sub-Arctic Fennoscandia. Time period 2011-2018. Major taxa studied Vascular plants. Methods We collected field-quantified data on vegetation, geomorphological processes, microclimate and soil properties from 5,280 plots and 200 species across the three Arctic regions. We combined these data with database trait records to relate local plant community trait composition to dominant geomorphological processes of the Arctic, namely cryoturbation, deflation, fluvial processes and solifluction. We investigated the relationship between plant functional traits and geomorphological processes using hierarchical generalized additive modelling. Results Our results demonstrate that community-level traits are related to geomorphological processes, with cryoturbation most strongly influencing both structural and leaf economic traits. These results were consistent across regions, suggesting a coherent biome-level trait response to geomorphological processes. Main conclusions The results indicate that geomorphological processes shape plant community traits in the Arctic. We provide empirical evidence for the existence of generalizable relationships between plant functional traits and geomorphological processes. The results indicate that the relationships are consistent across these three distinct tundra regions and that geomorphological processes should be considered in future investigations of functional traits.
Subject: 1171 Geosciences
1172 Environmental sciences
1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: cc_by
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: publishedVersion


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