Vol17 No.8: 1931-1941
【Title】Effect of climate and altitude on plant community composition and richness in Brazilian inselbergs
【Author】Herval Vieira PINTO-JUNIOR1*; Pedro Manuel VILLA2; Luis Fernando Tavares de MENEZES3; Miriam Cristina Alvarez PEREIRA4
【Addresses】1 Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Department of Plant Biology, Laboratory of Ecology and Evolution of Plants, 36570-900, Viçosa-MG, Brazil; 2 Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Department of Forest Engineering, Laboratory of Forest Restoration, 36570-900, Viçosa-MG, Brazil; 3 Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo, Department of Agrarian and Biological Sciences, Laboratory of Ecology of Restinga and Mata Atlântica, 29932-900, São Mateus-ES, Brazil; 4 Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo, Department of Biology, 29500-000, Alegre-ES, Brazil
【Corresponding author】Herval Vieira PINTO-JUNIOR
【Citation】Pinto-Junior HV, Villa PM, Menezes LFT, Pereira MCA (2020) Effect of climate and altitude on plant community composition and richness in Brazilian inselbergs. Journal of Mountain Science 17(8). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-019-5801-4
【Abstract】Plant communities are shaped by multiple factors along environmental gradients; however, studies are limited on how environmental filtering drives community composition and species richness on tropical inselbergs. We evaluate the influence of altitude and climatic variables related to temperature and precipitation on plant community composition and species richness on Brazilian inselbergs. We assume as a premise that both climate and altitude would induce changes on plant community composition and species richness at the local level. We used plant inventory data from 370 sampling units across four inselberg sites in the Atlantic Forest of Espírito Santo State, south-eastern Brazil. We tested the univariate and multivariate effects of altitude and climate variables on community composition and species richness with multiple models. Differences in species richness between inselbergs were evaluated using sample-based data to estimate rarefaction and extrapolation curves. In addition, differences in species composition and taxonomic beta diversity were examined via novel frequency-based metrics. A contrasting climate pattern was observed between the inselberg sites, with south sites being wet compared to the dry conditions found in northern sites. Species richness by rarefaction showed a similar pattern within regional sites; however, there were marked differences between regions. Species richness and beta diversity showed significant differences among sites, with higher values in southern sites than in northern sites. In a multi-model comparison between inselberg sites, altitude significantly influenced community composition and species richness and explained more variance than climate models. This finding suggested that climate could act to some extent on these tropical inselbergs; however, altitude was a better predictor of plant community composition and species richness at the local level.
【Keywords】Atlantic Forest Biome; Beta diversity; Abiotic filtering; Climate models; Environmental filtering; Latitudinal gradient