University of Oulu

Saarimaa, M., Aapala, K., Tuominen, S. et al. Biodivers Conserv (2019) 28: 1173.

Predicting hotspots for threatened plant species in boreal peatlands

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Author: Saarimaa, Miia1; Aapala, Kaisu2; Tuominen, Seppo2;
Organizations: 1Natural Resources Institute Finland, Oulun Yliopisto, Oulu, Finland
2Finnish Environment Institute, Helsinki, Finland
3Department of Ecology and Genetics, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.6 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-10-04


Understanding the spatial patterns of species distribution and predicting suitable habitats for threatened species are central themes in land use management and planning. In this study, we examined the geographic distribution of threatened mire plant species and identified their national hotspots, i.e. areas with high amounts of suitable habitats for threatened mire plant species. We also determined the main environmental correlates related to the distribution patterns of these species. The specific aims were to: (1) identify the environmental variables that control the distribution of threatened peatland species in a boreal aapa mire zone, Finland; and (2) to identify the richness patterns and hotspots of threatened species. Our results showed that the combination of individual species models offers a useful tool for identifying landscape-scale richness patterns for threatened plant species. The modeling performance was high across the modelled species, and the richness patterns generated by single models coincide with the expected richness pattern based on expert knowledge. The method is therefore a powerful tool for basic biodiversity applications. In cases where reliable models for species occurrences and hotspots can be produced, these models can play a significant role in land-use planning and help managers to meet different conservation challenges.

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Series: Biodiversity and conservation
ISSN: 0960-3115
ISSN-E: 1572-9710
ISSN-L: 0960-3115
Volume: 28
Issue: 5
Pages: 1173 - 1204
DOI: 10.1007/s10531-019-01717-8
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
1172 Environmental sciences
Funding: Open access funding provided by Natural Resources Institute Finland (LUKE). A study of this nature would not have been possible without the hundreds of volunteers who contributed their data to the red-listed plant species database. We are thankful for two anonymous referees whose comments and suggestions greatly improved the manuscript. The study is part of the EU LIFE + project LIFEPeatLandUse (LIFE12 ENV/FI/000150). We also thank the Maj and Tor Nessling Foundation for providing a personal scholarship to M. Parkkari.
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2019. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.