Changes in species composition in alpine snowbeds with climate change inferred from small-scale spatial patterns

Schöb, Christian and Kammer, Peter and Kikvidze, Zaal and Choler, Philippe and Veit, Heinz Changes in species composition in alpine snowbeds with climate change inferred from small-scale spatial patterns. Web Ecology. ISSN 1399-1183

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Abstract

Alpine snowbeds are characterised by a very short growing season. However, the length of the snow-free period is increasingly prolonged due to climate change, so that snowbeds become susceptible to invasions from neighbouring alpine meadow communities. We hypothesised that spatial distribution of species generated by plant interactions may indicate whether snowbed species will coexist with or will be out-competed by invading alpine species – spatial aggregation or segregation will point to coexistence or competitive exclusion, respectively. We tested this hypothesis in snowbeds of the Swiss Alps using the variance ratio statistics. We focused on the relationships between dominant snowbed species, subordinate snowbed species, and potentially invading alpine grassland species. Subordinate snowbed species were generally spatially aggregated with each other, but were segregated from alpine grassland species.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > Ecology
Divisions: Institutes > 4D Research Institute
Depositing User: Prof. Zaal Kikvidze
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2014 19:22
Last Modified: 23 Jan 2014 19:22
URI: http://eprints.iliauni.edu.ge/id/eprint/466

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