University of Oulu

Tukiainen, H., Alahuhta, J., Field, R. et al. Landscape Ecol (2017) 32: 1049.

Spatial relationship between biodiversity and geodiversity across a gradient of land-use intensity in high-latitude landscapes

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Author: Tukiainen, Helena1; Alahuhta, Janne1; Field, Richard2;
Organizations: 1Geography Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2School of Geography, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
3Botany Unit, Finnish Museum of Natural History, Helsinki University, Helsinki, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2017
Publish Date: 2019-06-13


Context: ‘Conserving Nature’s stage’ has been advanced as an important conservation principle because of known links between biodiversity and abiotic environmental diversity, especially in sensitive high-latitude environments and at the landscape scale. However these links have not been examined across gradients of human impact on the landscape.

Objectives: To (1) analyze the relationships between land-use intensity and both landscape-scale biodiversity and geodiversity, and (2) assess the contributions of geodiversity, climate and spatial variables to explaining vascular plant species richness in landscapes of low, moderate and high human impact.

Methods: We used generalized additive models (GAMs) to analyze relationships between land-use intensity and both geodiversity (geological, geomorphological and hydrological richness) and plant species richness in 6191 1-km² grid squares across Finland. We used linear regression-based variation partitioning (VP) to assess contributions of climate, geodiversity and spatial variable groups to accounting for spatial variation in species richness.

Results: In GAMs, geodiversity correlated negatively, and plant species richness positively, with land-use intensity. Both relationships were non-linear. In VP, geodiversity best accounted for species richness in areas of moderate to high human impact. These overall contributions were mainly due to variation explained jointly with climate, which dominated the models. Independent geodiversity contributions were highest in pristine environments, but low throughout.

Conclusions: Human action increases biodiversity but may reduce geodiversity, at landscape scale in high-latitude environments. Better understanding of the connections between biodiversity and abiotic environment along changing land-use gradients is essential in developing sustainable measures to conserve biodiversity under global change.

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Series: Landscape ecology
ISSN: 0921-2973
ISSN-E: 1572-9761
ISSN-L: 0921-2973
Volume: 32
Issue: 5
Pages: 1049 - 1063
DOI: 10.1007/s10980-017-0508-9
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1171 Geosciences
1172 Environmental sciences
1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
Funding: HT was supported by Kone Foundation and JH by the Academy of Finland (Project number 285040).
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 285040
Detailed Information: 285040 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017. This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Landscape ecology. The final authenticated version is available online at: