University of Oulu

García-Girón, J., Heino, J., Baastrup-Spohr, L., Clayton, J., De Winton, M., Feldmann, T., Fernández-Aláez, C., Ecke, F., Grillas, P., Hoyer, M. V., Kolada, A., Kosten, S., Lukács, B. A., Mjelde, M., Mormul, R. P., Rhazi, L., Rhazi, M., Sass, L., Xu, J., & Alahuhta, J. (2023). Compositional breakpoints of freshwater plant communities across continents. Limnetica, 42(2), 1.

Compositional breakpoints of freshwater plant communities across continents

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Author: García-Girón, Jorge1,2; Heino, Jani1; Baastrup-Spohr, Lars3;
Organizations: 1Geography Research Unit, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 3000, FI-90014 Oulu, Finland
2Department of Biodiversity and Environmental Management, University of León, Campus de Vegazana, 24007 León, Spain
3Freshwater Biological Laboratory, Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, Universitetsparken 4, 2100 København Ø, Denmark
4National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Limited, P.O. Box 11115, Hamilton, New Zealand
5Estonian Environmental Research Centre, Vaksali 17a, 50410 Tartu, Estonia
6Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), P.O. Box 7050, 750 07 Uppsala, Sweden
7Department of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), 901 83 Umeå, Sweden
8Tour du Valat, Research Institute for the conservation of Mediterranean wetlands, Le Sambuc, 13200 Arles, France
9Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, School of Forest Resources and Conservation, Institute of Food and Agricultural Services, University of Florida, 7922 NW 71st Street, Gainesville, FL 32609, USA
10Department of Freshwater Protection, Institute of Environmental Protection‒National Research Institute, Krucza 5/11D, 00-548 Warsaw, Poland
11Department of Aquatic Ecology and Environmental Biology, Institute for Water and Wetland Research, Radboud University, Heyendaalseweg 135, 6525AJ Nijmegen, The Netherlands
12Wetland Ecology Research Group, Centre for Ecological Research, IAE, Bem tér 18/C, Debrecen 4026, Hungary
13Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA), Gaustadalléen 21, 0349 Oslo, Norway
14Department of Biology, Research Centre for Limnology, Ichthyology and Aquaculture -Nupélia, State University of Maringá, Av. Colombo 5790, Bloco H90, CEP-87020-900 Mringá, PR, Brazil
15Research Center of Plant and Microbial Biotechnologies, Biodiversity and Environment, Faculty of Sciences, Mohammed V University in Rabat, 4 avenue Ibn Battouta, B.P. 1014 RP, Rabat, Morocco
16Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Biology, Moulay Ismail University, PB 509, Boutalamine, Errachidia, Morocco
17Illinois Natural History Survey, Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois, 1816 South Oak Street, Champaign, IL 61820, USA
18Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430070, China
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Asociación Ibérica de Limnología, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-09-01


Unravelling patterns and mechanisms of biogeographical transitions is crucial if we are to understand compositional gradients at large spatial extents, but no studies have thus far examined breakpoints in community composition of freshwater plants across continents. Using a dataset of almost 500 observations of lake plant community composition from six continents, we examined, for the first time, if such breakpoints in geographical space exist for freshwater plants and how well a suite of ecological factors (including climatic and local environmental variables) can explain transitions in community composition from the subtropics to the poles. Our combination of multivariate regression tree (MRT) analysis and k-means partitioning suggests that the most abrupt breakpoint exists between temperate to boreal regions on the one hand and freshwater plant communities harbouring mainly subtropical or Mediterranean assemblages on the other. The spatially structured variation in current climatic conditions is the most likely candidate for controlling these latitudinal patterns, although one cannot rule out joint effects of eco-evolutionary constraints in the harsher high-latitude environments and post-glacial migration lags after Pleistocene Ice Ages. Overall, our study supports the foundations of global regionalisation for freshwater plants and anticipates further biogeographical research on freshwater plant communities once datasets have been harmonised for conducting large-scale spatial analyses.

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Series: Limnetica
ISSN: 0213-8409
ISSN-E: 1989-1806
ISSN-L: 0213-8409
Volume: 42
Issue: 2
Pages: 291 - 301
DOI: 10.23818/limn.42.21
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1172 Environmental sciences
Funding: JGG was funded by the European Union Next Generation EU/PRTR (grant no. AG325). Academy of Finland supported JH, JGG (grant no. 331957), and JA (grant no. 322652). CFL appreciates financial support from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology (grant no. CL2017- 84176R). BAL was supported by National Research, Development, and Innovation Office (grant no. NKFIH, OTKA FK127939) and by the Bolyai János Research Scholarship of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. SK was supported by NWO Vidi (grant no. 203098). LR was funded by MESRSI (Ministry of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Innovation of Morocco) as part of the BiodivRestore Program (RESPOND Project) and by the Tour du Valat Foundation. Sampling of the Brazilian coastal lakes was financed by NWO (grant no. W84-549), the National Geographic Society (grant no. 7864-5), and CNPq (grants no. 480122, 490409, 311427). We thank the SALGA team, especially Gissell Lacerot, Nestor Mazzeo, Vera Huszar, David da Motta Marques, and Erik Jeppesen for organizing and executing the SALGA field sampling campaign and Bruno Irgang† and Eduardo Alonso Paz for helping with the identification. We thank the Minnesota and Wisconsin Departments of Natural Resources for collecting the freshwater plant data. We are grateful to Carol Reschke for her work in combining and performing quality control for the Minnesota macrophyte data used in the analysis. This is contribution no. 607 of the Natural Resources Research Inst. of the Univ. of Minnesota Duluth. Provision of New Zealand macrophyte data was possible via NIWA SSIF funding.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 331957
Detailed Information: 331957 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
322652 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Dataset Reference: The datasets are from state or national administration, where they can be obtained by request (see Alahuhta et al., 2017, 2018 and García-Girón et al., 2020b, 2020c for details).
Copyright information: © Asociación Ibérica de Limnología, Madrid. Spain. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) License.