University of Oulu

Alahuhta, J., Rosbakh, S., Chepinoga, V. et al. Environmental determinants of lake macrophyte communities in Baikal Siberia. Aquat Sci 82, 39 (2020).

Environmental determinants of lake macrophyte communities in Baikal Siberia

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Author: Alahuhta, Janne1; Rosbakh, Sergey2; Chepinoga, Victor3,4;
Organizations: 1Geography Research Unit, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 3000, 90014, Oulu, Finland
2Chair of Ecology and Conservation Biology, University of Regensburg, 93040, Regensburg, Germany
3Laboratory of Physical Geography and Biogeography, The V.B. Sochava Institute of Geography SB RAS, Ulan-Batorskaya Str. 1, 664033, Irkutsk, Russia
4Department of Botany, Irkutsk State University, Karl Marx Str. 1, 664003, Irkutsk, Russia
5Finnish Environment Institute, Freshwater Centre, P.O. Box 413, 90014, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.9 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-05-04


We investigated whether environmental filtering or dispersal-related factors mostly drive helophyte and hydrophyte species richness and community composition in 93 lakes situated in Baikal Siberia. Using partial linear regression and partial redundancy analysis, we studied (1) what are the relative roles of environmental variables, dispersal variables, spatial processes and region identity (i.e., river basins) in explaining variation in the species richness and species composition of helophytes and hydrophytes across 93 Siberian lakes, and (2) what are the differences in the most important explanatory variables driving community variation in helophytes versus hydrophytes? We found that, for both species richness and species composition, environmental variables clearly explained most variation for both plant groups, followed by region identity and dispersal-related variables. Spatial variables were significant only for the species composition of hydrophytes. Nutrient-salinity index, a proxy for habitat trophic-salinity status, was by far the most significant environmental determinant of helophytes and hydrophytes. Our results indicate that environmental factors explained the most variation in both species richness and species composition of helophytes and hydrophytes. Nevertheless, dispersal-related variables (i.e. spatial and dispersal) were also influential but less important than environmental factors. Furthermore, the dispersal-related variables were more important for hydrophytes than for helophytes. Most brackish permanent lakes were mostly located in the steppe biomes of southern Transbaikalia. This characteristic along with the oldest age, the largest distances to both river and settlements and the lowest temperatures in the study region distinguished them from freshwater, drained and more nutrient-rich floodplain lakes.

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Series: Aquatic sciences
ISSN: 1015-1621
ISSN-E: 1420-9055
ISSN-L: 1015-1621
Volume: 82
Issue: 2
Article number: 39
DOI: 10.1007/s00027-020-0710-8
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1172 Environmental sciences
Funding: Open access funding provided by University of Oulu including Oulu University Hospital.
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