Bryophyte distribution patterns in an oceanic island: the influence of climate and space
PhD Student Island Biodiversity, Biogeography & Conservation Group
Due to ongoing global changes it is essential to establish a baseline record from which to determine future shifts in species distributions and community assembly patterns. In this context, we used digitized historical bryophyte distribution data along a 1021 m elevational gradient in Terceira Island (Azores) to determine how bryophyte species distribution and community composition vary with elevation and which spatial and climatic drivers contribute to this variation. We used ordinary lest squares analysis to test for climatic and spatial data as explanatory variables and Mid-Domain Null simulations to assess the influence of spatial constraints on species distributions. While moss richness did not correlate to any climatic variables and responded weakly to the presence of forest cover, liverwort presence proved to answer to temperature, rainfall, humidity and the presence of native forest areas, suggesting that liverworts are more sensitive to changes in their environment and can thus be used as better indicator species for climate change. Also, community assembly patterns indicate that Terceira’s lower elevations, being areas of rapid species replacement, are especially vulnerable to stresses and will be the first to exhibit signs of climate change.
5ª feira, 5 de Novembro de 2015
FCUL (Edif. C6) – 12.00h-13.00h – Sala 6.2.51