University of Oulu

Malanson, G. P., Virtanen, R., Britton, A. J., Jiménez-Alfaro, B., Qian, H., Petraglia, A., Tomaselli, M., Cooper, D., Damm, C., Pemble, R. H., & Brett, R. B. (2019). Hemispheric- and Continental-Scale Patterns of Similarity in Mountain Tundra. Annals of the American Association of Geographers, 110(4), 1005–1021.

Hemispheric- and continental-scale patterns of similarity in mountain tundra

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Author: Malanson, George P.1; Virtanen, Risto2; Britton, Andrea J.3;
Organizations: 1Department of Geographical & Sustainability Sciences, University of Iowa
2Botanical Museum, University of Oulu
3Ecological Sciences Group, James Hutton Institute
4Unidad Mixta de Investigacion en Biodiversidad, Universidad de Oviedo
5Research & Collections Center, Illinois State Museum
6Department of Chemical Sciences, Life and Environmental Sustainability, Università di Parma
7Department of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship, Colorado State University
8Institut für Geographie und Geoökologie, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie
9Department of Biology, Minnesota State University
10Snowline Ecological Consulting
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.6 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Informa, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-09-10


Understanding the full range of biodiversity patterns from local to global scales, through the study of the drivers of multiscale plant community composition and diversity, is a current goal of biogeography. A synthetic understanding of to what extent vegetation compositional patterns are produced by biotic factors, geography, or climate and how these patterns vary across scales is needed. This lack hinders prediction of the effects of climate change in global vegetation. Variation in community composition is examined in relation to climatic difference and geographic distance at hemispheric and continental scales. Vascular plants and bryophytes in thirteen mountain regions were analyzed: eight in Europe and five in North America, nine midlatitude and four oroarctic. Species composition differed between continents and between oroarctic and midlatitude regions. Patterns of paired regional similarity with distance were significant for all pairs and intercontinental pairs but not for those within Europe and North America. Climatic variables accounted for most of the variance in vegetation patterns revealed by general linear models of ordinations, but geographic variables of Moran eigenvectors and latitudinal zones were also important and significant. The effects of geography were typically twice as strong for vascular plants as for bryophytes. The importance of geography at these scales suggests that past evolutionary and ecological processes are as important as current fit to any climatic niche. Interpretation of observations of the impacts of global climate change should recognize geographic context and phylogeny, and policies to mitigate them, such as assisted migration, should be cautious.

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Series: Annals of the American Association of Geographers
ISSN: 2469-4452
ISSN-E: 2469-4460
ISSN-L: 2469-4452
Volume: 110
Issue: 4
Pages: 1005 - 1021
DOI: 10.1080/24694452.2019.1677450
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
Copyright information: © 2019 by American Association of Geographers. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Annals of the American Association of Geographers on 27 Nov 2019, available online: