University of Oulu

Salminen, H., Tukiainen, H., Alahuhta, J. et al. Assessing the relation between geodiversity and species richness in mountain heaths and tundra landscapes. Landsc Ecol 38, 2227–2240 (2023).

Assessing the relation between geodiversity and species richness in mountain heaths and tundra landscapes

Saved in:
Author: Salminen, Henriikka1; Tukiainen, Helena1; Alahuhta, Janne1;
Organizations: 1Geography Research Unit, University of Oulu, 90014, Oulu, Finland
2Ecology and Genetics Research Unit, University of Oulu, 90014, Oulu, Finland
3Department of Biological Sciences, University of Bergen, Post Box 7803, 5020, Bergen, Norway
4NIBIO, Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research, Holtveien 66, 9016, Tromsø, Norway
5Ås, Norway
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.2 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-08-08


Context: Recent studies show that geodiversity—the diversity of Earth’s landforms, materials, and processes—has a positive relationship with biodiversity at a landscape scale. However, there is a substantial lack of evidence from finer scales, although this knowledge could improve the understanding of biodiversity patterns.

Objectives: We investigate whether plot-scale geodiversity and plant species richness (vascular plants, bryophytes, lichens, and total richness) are positively linked in different tundra landscapes.

Methods: We collected geodiversity (presence of different geofeatures) and plant species richness data from 165 sites in three distinct regions: isolated low-lying mountain heaths, and in sporadic and continuous mountain heaths and tundra. We used non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) ordination to explore the correlations between the composition of geofeatures and species richness, followed by univariate and multivariate generalized linear models (GLM), to assess whether georichness is important for species richness.

Results: Geofeature composition was linked to species richness in all regions, as indicated by NMDS ordination. Both univariate and multivariate GLM models showed statistically significant relationship between species richness and georichness in all studied species richness groups in continuous Arctic-alpine tundra. Additionally, there was a positive link between georichness and lichen richness in isolated boreal mountain tops.

Main conclusions: We showed that plot-scale geodiversity has a positive relationship with species richness, yet the effect varies regionally and between species groups. Our study provides strong empirical evidence that geodiversity supports species richness in continuous Arctic-alpine tundra. This information can be used in species richness models but also be applied in biodiversity management and conservation.

see all

Series: Landscape ecology
ISSN: 0921-2973
ISSN-E: 1572-9761
ISSN-L: 0921-2973
Volume: 38
Issue: 9
Pages: 2227 - 2240
DOI: 10.1007/s10980-023-01702-1
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1172 Environmental sciences
1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
Funding: Open Access funding provided by University of Oulu including Oulu University Hospital. HT, JA, and TM were supported by the Academy of Finland (project number 322652), TM also by the Finnish Cultural Foundation and KH by the Ella and Georg Ehrnrooth Foundation. The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 project INTERACT, under grant agreement No 730938.
EU Grant Number: (730938) INTERACT - International Network for Terrestrial Research and Monitoring in the Arctic
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 322652
Detailed Information: 322652 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2023. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit