Time filter

Source Type

Gottfried M.,University of Vienna | Pauli H.,Slovak Academy of Sciences | Futschik A.,University of Vienna | Akhalkatsi M.,Ilia State University | And 30 more authors.
Nature Climate Change | Year: 2012

Climate impact studies have indicated ecological fingerprints of recent global warming across a wide range of habitats. Although these studies have shown responses from various local case studies, a coherent large-scale account on temperature-driven changes of biotic communities has been lacking. Here we use 867 vegetation samples above the treeline from 60 summit sites in all major European mountain systems to show that ongoing climate change gradually transforms mountain plant communities. We provide evidence that the more cold-adapted species decline and the more warm-adapted species increase, a process described here as thermophilization. At the scale of individual mountains this general trend may not be apparent, but at the larger, continental scale we observed a significantly higher abundance of thermophilic species in 2008, compared with 2001. Thermophilization of mountain plant communities mirrors the degree of recent warming and is more pronounced in areas where the temperature increase has been higher. In view of the projected climate change the observed transformation suggests a progressive decline of cold mountain habitats and their biota. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Engler R.,University of Lausanne | Randin C.F.,University of Basel | Thuiller W.,CNRS Alpine Ecology Laboratory | Dullinger S.,Vienna Institute for Nature Conservation and Analyses | And 33 more authors.
Global Change Biology | Year: 2011

Continental-scale assessments of 21st century global impacts of climate change on biodiversity have forecasted range contractions for many species. These coarse resolution studies are, however, of limited relevance for projecting risks to biodiversity in mountain systems, where pronounced microclimatic variation could allow species to persist locally, and are ill-suited for assessment of species-specific threat in particular regions. Here, we assess the impacts of climate change on 2632 plant species across all major European mountain ranges, using high-resolution (ca. 100m) species samples and data expressing four future climate scenarios. Projected habitat loss is greater for species distributed at higher elevations; depending on the climate scenario, we find 36-55% of alpine species, 31-51% of subalpine species and 19-46% of montane species lose more than 80% of their suitable habitat by 2070-2100. While our high-resolution analyses consistently indicate marked levels of threat to cold-adapted mountain florae across Europe, they also reveal unequal distribution of this threat across the various mountain ranges. Impacts on florae from regions projected to undergo increased warming accompanied by decreased precipitation, such as the Pyrenees and the Eastern Austrian Alps, will likely be greater than on florae in regions where the increase in temperature is less pronounced and rainfall increases concomitantly, such as in the Norwegian Scandes and the Scottish Highlands. This suggests that change in precipitation, not only warming, plays an important role in determining the potential impacts of climate change on vegetation. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


Theurillat J.-P.,Center Alpien Of Phytogeographie | Theurillat J.-P.,University of Geneva | Mucina L.,University of Western Australia | Mucina L.,Stellenbosch University | And 2 more authors.
Lazaroa | Year: 2015

This paper presents the validation of five syntaxonomic concepts-two orders (Callitricho hamulatae-Ranunculetalia aquatilis, Zannichellietalia pedicellatae) and three alliances (Ranunculion aquatilis, Nelumbion nuciferae and Caricion viridulo-trinervis).


Mucina L.,University of Western Australia | Mucina L.,Stellenbosch University | Theurillat J.-P.,King Saud University | Theurillat J.-P.,Center Alpien Of Phytogeographie | Theurillat J.-P.,University of Geneva
Lazaroa | Year: 2015

The paper presents the description of one new order (Asplenietalia septentrionalo-cuneifolii) and two new alliances (Arenarion bertolonii and Physoplexido comosae-Saxifragion petraeae). In addition, the syntaxon Asplenietalia lanceolato-obovati is here formally raised to the order level and the name Hypno-Polypodietalia vulgaris is validated.


Di Pietro R.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Theurillat J.-P.,Center Alpien Of Phytogeographie | Theurillat J.-P.,University of Geneva | Capelo J.,Instituto Nacional Of Investigacao Agraria E Veterinaria | And 8 more authors.
Lazaroa | Year: 2015

We present descriptions of a new order (Ranunculo cortusifolii-Geranietalia reuteri) and of a new alliance (Stachyo lusitanicae-Cheirolophion sempervirentis) for the herbaceous fringe communities of Macaronesia and of the southwestern Iberian Peninsula, respectively. A new alliance, the Polygalo mediterraneae-Bromion erecti (mesophilous post-cultural grasslands), was introduced for the Peninsular Italy. We further validate and typify the Armerietalia rumelicae (perennial grasslands supported by nutrient-poor soils on siliceous bedrocks at elevations characterized by the submediterranean climate of south-central Balkan Peninsula), the Securigero-Dasypyrion villosae (lawn and fallow-land tall-grass annual vegetation of Italy), and the Cirsio vallis-demoni-Nardion (acidophilus grasslands on siliceous substrates of the Southern Italy). Nomenclatural issues (validity, legitimacy, synonymy, formal corrections) have been discussed and clarified for the following names: Brachypodio-Brometalia, Bromo pannonici-Festucion csikhegyensis, Corynephoro-Plantaginion radicatae, Heleochloion, Hieracio-Plantaginion radicatae, Nardetea strictae, Nardetalia strictae, Nardo-Callunetea, Nardo-Galion saxatilis, Oligo-Bromion, Paspalo-Heleochloetalia, Plantagini-Corynephorion and Scorzoneret alia villosae.


Belonovskaya E.A.,Russian Academy of Sciences | Mucina L.,University of Western Australia | Theurillat J.-P.,Center Alpien Of Phytogeographie | Theurillat J.-P.,University of Geneva
Hacquetia | Year: 2014

We present description of a new class for the high-altitude screes of the Caucasus (the Lamio tomentosi-Chaerophylletea humilis) and two alliances such as the Scrophulario minimae-Symphyolomion graveolentis (Chaerophylletalia humilis, Lamio tomentosi-Chaerophylletea humilis) and the Scrophulario variegatae-Epilobion dodonaei (Epilobietalia fleischeri, Thlaspietea rotundifolii). © by Ladislav Mucina 2014.


Terzi M.,National Research Council Italy | Di Pietro R.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Theurillat J.-P.,Center Alpien Of Phytogeographie | Theurillat J.-P.,University of Geneva
Botany Letters | Year: 2016

The class Festuco-Brometea includes the dry grassland and the steppe vegetation extending over most of Europe and part of Asia. Many high-rank syntaxa regarding the central and southern Europe grasslands are currently classified under the Festuco-Brometea and several of these concern the Italian Peninsula. According to the most recent and influential checklist of the Italian vegetation, the Vegetation Prodrome of Italy by Biondi and colleagues, the Italian Festuco-Brometea grasslands are to be distributed within five orders, two suborders and eighteen alliances. The names of these syntaxa, however, are often cited incorrectly in the phytosociological literature, and some of these errors are to be found in the Vegetation Prodrome of Italy. Therefore, owing to the importance of using correct names for the stabilization of the syntaxonomic nomenclature, this paper aims to resolve these inconsistencies in following the rules of the International Code of Phytosociological Nomenclature (ICPN). As a result, 15 names are corrected, a new suborder (Bromenalia erecti) is described and six names are typified (Festucetalia Soó 1940, Stipo capillatae-Poion xerophilae Braun-Blanquet & Richard 1950, Diplachnion serotinae Braun-Blanquet 1961, Mesobrometum erecti W. Koch 1926, Festuco-Bromion erecti Barbero & Loisel 1972, Xerobromion erecti [Braun-Blanquet & Moor 1938] Zoller 1954). In addition, it is proposed that three names are to be conserved (Festucetalia valesiacae Braun-Blanquet & Tüxen ex Braun-Blanquet 1950, Festucion valesiacae Klika 1931, Mesobromion erecti [Braun-Blanquet & Moor 1938] Zoller 1954) and three to be rejected (Festucetalia Soó 1940, Festucetalia valesiacae Soó 1947, Bromion erecti W. Koch 1926). Due to the fact that the revised names are referred to in the literature with different authors citations, their revision is preceded by a discussion about divergent interpretations of what constitutes a publication and the date of a publication in the sense of article 1 of ICPN for works issued in several parts, often in relationship with a sufficient diagnosis in the sense of article 2b. A proposal is made in this respect. © 2016 Société botanique de France.


Heger T.J.,University of British Columbia | Derungs N.,University of Neuchatel | Theurillat J.P.,Center Alpien Of Phytogeographie | Theurillat J.P.,University of Geneva | Mitchell E.A.D.,University of Neuchatel
Microbial Ecology | Year: 2015

Most groups of higher organisms show a decrease in species richness toward high altitude, but the existence of such a pattern is debated for micro-eukaryotes. Existing data are scarce and mostly confounded with the diversity of habitats that also decreases with elevation. In order to disentangle these two factors, one approach is to consider only similar types of habitats occurring across an elevational gradient. We assessed the diversity and community structure of testate amoebae in two specific habitats: (1) natural Calluna vulgaris litter and (2) Minuartia sedoides cushions 7 years after their transplantation along a vertical transect from 1770 to 2430 m in the subalpine and alpine zones of the Swiss Alps. Analyses of co-variance and variance showed that testate amoeba species richness, equitability, and diversity declined with elevation and were significantly correlated to habitat type. In a redundancy analysis, the variation in the relative abundance of the testate amoeba taxa in Calluna vulgaris litter was equally explained by elevation and litter pH. This is the first study documenting a monotonic decrease of protist diversity in similar habitats across an elevational gradient. © 2015 Springer Science+Business Media New York


Vittoz P.,University of Lausanne | Bayfield N.,UK Center for Ecology and Hydrology | Brooker R.,Celtic Environment | Elston D.A.,Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Vegetation Science | Year: 2010

Question: When multiple observers record the same spatial units of alpine vegetation, how much variation is there in the records and what are the consequences of this variation for monitoring schemes to detect changes?Location: One test summit in Switzerland (Alps) and one test summit in Scotland (Cairngorm Mountains).Method: Eight observers used the GLORIA protocols for species composition and visual cover estimates in percentages on large summit sections (>100 m2) and species composition and frequency in nested quadrats (1 m2).Results: The multiple records from the same spatial unit for species composition and species cover showed considerable variation in the two countries. Estimates of pseudo-turnover of composition and coefficients of variation of cover estimates for vascular plant species in 1 m × 1-m quadrats showed less variation than in previously published reports, whereas our results in larger sections were broadly in line with previous reports. In Scotland, estimates for bryophytes and lichens were more variable than for vascular plants.Conclusions: Statistical power calculations indicated that unless large numbers of plots were used, changes in cover or frequency were only likely to be detected for abundant species (exceeding 10% cover) or if relative changes were large (50% or more). Lower variation could be reached with the point method and with larger numbers of small plots. However, as summits often strongly differ from each other, supplementary summits cannot be considered as a way of increasing statistical power without introducing a supplementary component of variance into the analysis and hence into the power calculations. © 2010 International Association for Vegetation Science.


PubMed | University of British Columbia, Center Alpien Of Phytogeographie and University of Neuchatel
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Microbial ecology | Year: 2016

Most groups of higher organisms show a decrease in species richness toward high altitude, but the existence of such a pattern is debated for micro-eukaryotes. Existing data are scarce and mostly confounded with the diversity of habitats that also decreases with elevation. In order to disentangle these two factors, one approach is to consider only similar types of habitats occurring across an elevational gradient. We assessed the diversity and community structure of testate amoebae in two specific habitats: (1) natural Calluna vulgaris litter and (2) Minuartia sedoides cushions 7 years after their transplantation along a vertical transect from 1770 to 2430 m in the subalpine and alpine zones of the Swiss Alps. Analyses of co-variance and variance showed that testate amoeba species richness, equitability, and diversity declined with elevation and were significantly correlated to habitat type. In a redundancy analysis, the variation in the relative abundance of the testate amoeba taxa in Calluna vulgaris litter was equally explained by elevation and litter pH. This is the first study documenting a monotonic decrease of protist diversity in similar habitats across an elevational gradient.

Loading Center Alpien Of Phytogeographie collaborators
Loading Center Alpien Of Phytogeographie collaborators