Both local and regional predictors play a role in determining plant community structure and composition. Climate, soil features as well as different local history and management affect forest understorey and tree species composition, but to date their specific role is relatively unknown. Few studies have addressed the importance of these predictors, especially in the Mediterranean area, where environmental conditions and human impacts have generated heterogeneous forest communities. In this study, the relationships between environmental variables and species richness of different groups of vascular plants (vascular species, woody species and open habitat species) and bryophytes were investigated in Tuscan forests. A total of 37 environmental variables were used by generalised linear model fitting in order to find parsimonious sub-sets of environmental factors (predictors) that are able to explain species diversity patterns at the local scale. Moreover, the role of regional and local variable groups on species richness of the considered plant groups was estimated by using the variance partitioning approach. We found that local variables, such as forest management and structure, explained more variance than regional variables for total species richness, open habitat species richness and bryophyte species richness. On the other hand, regional variables (such as elevation) played a central role for woody species richness

The role of regional and local scale predictors for plant species richness in Mediterranean forests

BACARO, Giovanni;
2008

Abstract

Both local and regional predictors play a role in determining plant community structure and composition. Climate, soil features as well as different local history and management affect forest understorey and tree species composition, but to date their specific role is relatively unknown. Few studies have addressed the importance of these predictors, especially in the Mediterranean area, where environmental conditions and human impacts have generated heterogeneous forest communities. In this study, the relationships between environmental variables and species richness of different groups of vascular plants (vascular species, woody species and open habitat species) and bryophytes were investigated in Tuscan forests. A total of 37 environmental variables were used by generalised linear model fitting in order to find parsimonious sub-sets of environmental factors (predictors) that are able to explain species diversity patterns at the local scale. Moreover, the role of regional and local variable groups on species richness of the considered plant groups was estimated by using the variance partitioning approach. We found that local variables, such as forest management and structure, explained more variance than regional variables for total species richness, open habitat species richness and bryophyte species richness. On the other hand, regional variables (such as elevation) played a central role for woody species richness
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11368/2832614
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