University of Oulu

Alahuhta, J., & García-Girón, J. (2022). Patterns and mechanisms underlying ecoregion delineation in North American freshwater plants. Journal of Biogeography, 49, 142– 155. https://doi.org/10.1111/jbi.14289

Patterns and mechanisms underlying ecoregion delineation in North American freshwater plants

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Author: Alahuhta, Janne1; García-Girón, Jorge2,3
Organizations: 1Geography Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Finnish Environment Institute, Freshwater Centre, Oulu, Finland
3Ecology Research Unit, University of León, León, Spain
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.2 MB)
Persistent link: http://urn.fi/urn:nbn:fi-fe2022122273345
Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-12-22
Description:

Abstract

Aim: The regionalized patterns of biodiversity distributions are actively studied in terrestrial and marine ecosystems, but much less is known on the geographical patterns of ecoregions founded on freshwater taxa. Here, we studied, for the first time, how well existing freshwater ecoregions describe the geographical distribution of inland water plants.

Location: Greenland, continental Canada and USA.

Taxon: Freshwater vascular plants of all taxa and multiple functional groups (i.e. growth forms).

Methods: Using newly available fine-grained data on freshwater plant distributions, we studied how ecoregions founded on fish are suitable for freshwater plant regionalization across North America. Specifically, we calculated internal homogeneity and distinctness among neighbouring ecoregions in relation to species replacements and richness differences. We also explored how a complex suite of ecogeographical characteristics affect ecoregion delineation of freshwater plants using spatially explicit regression routines.

Results: We found a clear geographical patterning of ecoregion robustness for North American freshwater plants, with communities being more internally homogeneous and more similar to one another in Polar and Subtropical inland waters. The degree of internal homogeneity and ecoregion distinctness were almost equally driven by species replacements and richness differences. Considering different life-forms, ecoregion delineation performed best for emergent and floating-leaved plants. Finally, within-ecoregion homogeneity and distinctness were best explained by annual mean temperature and terrain ruggedness, respectively, with mean water alkalinity, ecoregion area and late Quaternary glacial legacies having supplementary effects.

Main conclusions: Our findings suggest that selection through climate filtering (e.g. mean annual temperature) is likely the main mechanistic driver of freshwater plant ecoregions. Geographical regionalizations founded on a particular organismal group may not be directly applicable for all taxa but can be a good basis for further adjustments. Our study is a promising starting point for further investigations of geographical delineations for freshwater taxa other than fish.

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Series: Journal of biogeography
ISSN: 0305-0270
ISSN-E: 1365-2699
ISSN-L: 0305-0270
Volume: 49
Issue: 1
Pages: 142 - 155
DOI: 10.1111/jbi.14289
OADOI: https://oadoi.org/10.1111/jbi.14289
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1172 Environmental sciences
1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
Subjects:
Funding: Both authors are grateful for the support from Academy of Finland (grants: 322652 and 331957). No permits were required to execute this study.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 322652
331957
Detailed Information: 322652 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
331957 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2021 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Alahuhta, J., & García-Girón, J. (2022). Patterns and mechanisms underlying ecoregion delineation in North American freshwater plants. Journal of Biogeography, 49, 142– 155, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/jbi.14289. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.