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GRADIENT: Himalayan elevation gradient NICHE: temperature niches Richness Endemics Life forms. But first: do communities exist?. A short answer after a long debate: No. Compositional variation in nature tends to be gradual. How can we analyse species composition?.

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GRADIENT: Himalayan elevation gradient NICHE: temperature niches Richness Endemics Life forms


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Presentation Transcript
slide1

GRADIENT: Himalayan elevation gradient

NICHE: temperature niches

Richness

Endemics

Life forms

slide5

A short answer after a long debate: No.

Compositional variation in nature tends to be gradual.

how can we analyse species composition
How can we analyse species composition?

Within some defined environment or area we sample a number of plots and register the species present

slide7

The temperature nicheHabitat is where plant live, e.g. in oak forest, on open slopes, at rhododendron trees, etcDistribution range is where on a geogrphical one may find the target species

elevation gradient variation in temperature and correlated variables e g soil

high

Alpine

Tundra

Elevation

low

Temperated Forest

Northern Coniferous Forest

Arctic Tundra

Elevation gradient variation in temperature and correlated variables e.g. soil

Montane

Coniferous

Forest

Deciduous

Forest

slide10

High-land sp

Mid elevation

Low-land sp

M ASL

ELEVATION GRADIENT SPCECIES OCCURE AND DISAPEAR

elevatione range elevation converted to temperature
ELEVATIONE RANGEELEVATION CONVERTED TO TEMPERATURE

EXAMPLES:

RHODODENDRON IN THE HIMALAYAS

concepts realized and potential niche
Concepts: realized and potentialniche

Realized climate niche = the average climate conditions where the species are growing in nature

Potential climate niche = the climate conditions where the (fundamental) species are able to grow without interference from other organisms

abundance

temperature

elevation gradient in temperature lapse rate decrease 0 5 degrees celsius each 100 elevation meter

high

Alpine

Tundra

Elevation

low

Subtropical Forest

Northern

Arctic Tundra

Elevation gradient in temperature lapse rate= decrease 0.5 degrees Celsius each 100 elevation meter

Montane

Coniferous

Forest

Deciduous

Forest

slide18

INTERPOLATION : ASSUMING ALL SPECIES ARE PRESNET IN ALL 100M INTERVALS BETWEEN LOWER AND UPPER ELEVATION LIMIT

This gives total number of specie in all different elevation bands from 100 m to 6000 m a.s.l.

slide19

INTERPOLATION : ASSUMING ALL SPECIES ARE PRESNET IN ALL 100M INTERVALS BETWEEN LOWER AND UPPER ELEVATION LIMIT

This gives total number of species in all different elevation bands from 100 m to 6000 m a.s.l.

This can be done for different life forms, such as ferns,trees or total number of endemics and total number of species

tree species richness patterns

Species richness

Elevation

Tree species richness patterns
  • Unimodal relationship between tree species richness and elevation.
  • Maximum tree species found between 900 and 1000 m.
mountain biomes
Mountain Biomes
  • “Islands” = isolation=

speciation, polyploidy => endemics

is gamma diversity able to predict the pattern of alpha diversity along an elevation range

Is Gamma diversity able to predict the pattern of Alpha diversity along an elevation range?

Ole R. Vetaas, M. Panthi, & K. Shrestha, IE Maaren

Centre for Development Studies, University of Bergen, Nygaardsgt. 5,

N-5015 Bergen, NORWAY.

Central Department of Botany, Tribhuvan University, P.B. 5927 Kathmandu, Nepal.

elevation gradient

high

Ice & rock

Alpine

Tundra

Elevation

low

TROPICAL FOREST

Northern Coniferous Forest

Arctic Tundra

Elevation Gradient

Montane

BETULA

&……

Coniferous

Forest

EVERGREEN

OAK-RHODODENDRON-Forest

Deciduous

Forest

TROPICAL

FOREST

elevation gradient1

high

Ice & rock

Alpine

Tundra

Elevation

low

TROPICAL FOREST

Northern Coniferous Forest

Arctic Tundra

elevation gradient

Montane

BETULA

&……

4000 m asl

Coniferous

Forest

EVERGREEN

OAK-RHODODENDRON-Forest

Deciduous

Forest

2000 m asl

TROPICAL

FOREST

elevation gradient2

high

Ice & rock

Alpine

Tundra

Elevation

low

TROPICAL FOREST

Northern Coniferous Forest

Arctic Tundra

elevation gradient

Montane

BETULA

&……

Coniferous

Forest

EVERGREEN

OAK-RHODODENDRON-Forest

Deciduous

Forest

TROPICAL

FOREST

slide34

Rh. arboreum spp. arboreum

Rh. arboreum spp. cinnamomeum

elevation gradient3

high

Ice & rock

Alpine

Tundra

Elevation

low

TROPICAL FOREST

Northern Coniferous Forest

Arctic Tundra

elevation gradient

Montane

BETULA

&……

Coniferous

Forest

EVERGREEN

OAK-RHODODENDRON-Forest

Deciduous

Forest

TROPICAL

FOREST

elevation gradient4

high

Ice & rock

Alpine

Tundra

Elevation

low

TROPICAL FOREST

Northern Coniferous Forest

Arctic Tundra

elevation gradient

BETULA

Montane

BETULA

&……

Coniferous

Forest

EVERGREEN

OAK-RHODODENDRON-Forest

Deciduous

Forest

TROPICAL

FOREST

diversity concepts
Diversity concepts
  • Two of late R.H. Whittakers diversity concepts
  • Alpha diversity number of species in community, i.e. # species per area
  • (point-alpha)
  • Gamma diversity not well-defined concept, high alpha and high beta produce high gamma.
slide44
Gamma diversity?
  • Lomolino defined Gamma diversity as total number of species in certain elevations zone in a mountain range.
  • Similar to the concept of Species pool, which is indicating the potential number of species that could be found in a given area.
interpolated species richness in the himalayas1
Interpolated species richness in the Himalayas

GAMMA diversity~ species pool

We used data on elevation ranges in the Enumeration of flowering plants in Nepal (Hara et al., 1978;Hara & Williams,

1979; Hara et al., 1982) to describe the pattern of species richness along the elevation gradient.

MASL

alpha diversity number of species per 100 square metre
Alpha diversity number of species per 100 square metre
  • Species richness was recorded from

350 10m x 10m plots: 2000 - 4000 m asl

Average species richness (alpha diversity)

for each 100 m elevation zone

Sources:

Vetaas, Maaren, KB Shrestah, M Panthi, and Ohasi H. (The Flora of eastern Himalaya)

slide51

41% Deviance explained

38% Deviance explained

slide52
There is a significant drop in richness from the evergreen oak forest and deciduous forest at 2500 m asl to the marginal boreal zone with dominance of coniferous trees.
  • This appear both in gamma level and alpha level
  • Thus the gamma level can predict the alpha level, at least the pattern of change
the plateau
The plateau ?
  • Gamma diversity also indicate a plateau
  • This is found in alpha level
  • But
  • Tree species gamma does not predict this
  • Herbaceous species gamma does!
tree species richness patterns1

Species richness

Elevation

Tree species richness patterns
  • Unimodal relationship between tree species richness and elevation.
  • Maximum tree species found between 900 and 1000 m.
  • No plateau in

3000 – 4000 m asl.

Dispersal of herbaceous species

what cause these patterns
What cause these patterns?
  • Drop in richness
  • Increased change in temperature

Laps rate break!

temperature decreases at a faster rate above 3000 m u valley with glaciers
Temperature decreases at a fasterrate above 3000 m U-valley with glaciers

9 of 12 points are colder

than laps rate estimate

dry south exposed slopes1

PLATEAU

Geology : U-valley

Domestic animals seed dispersal

Dry south-exposed slopes
conclusions
CONCLUSIONS
  • Gamma diversity estimates are useful to detect pattern and deduce hypothesis that can be tested by field sampling
  • Example here:
  • The drop in richness form evergreen forest to ‘boreal’ sub-alpine coniferous forest
  • Plateau in richness in the coniferous dominated U-valley of the arid central Himalayas.