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Present and historical landscape structure shapes current species richness in Central European grasslands

Pascal Scherreiks Orcid Logo, Martin M. Gossner, Didem Ambarlı, Manfred Ayasse, Nico Blüthgen, Markus Fischer, Valentin H. Klaus, Till Kleinebecker, Felix Neff, Daniel Prati, Sebastian Seibold, Nadja K. Simons, Wolfgang W. Weisser, Konstans Wells Orcid Logo, Catrin Westphal, Jan Thiele

Landscape Ecology, Volume: 37, Issue: 3, Pages: 745 - 762

Swansea University Author: Konstans Wells Orcid Logo

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Abstract

Current diversity and species composition of ecological communities can often not exclusively be explained by present land use and landscape structure. Historical land use may have considerably influenced ecosystems and their properties for decades and centuries.We analysed the effects of present an...

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Published in: Landscape Ecology
ISSN: 0921-2973 1572-9761
Published: Springer Science and Business Media LLC 2022
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa59187
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Abstract: Current diversity and species composition of ecological communities can often not exclusively be explained by present land use and landscape structure. Historical land use may have considerably influenced ecosystems and their properties for decades and centuries.We analysed the effects of present and historical landscape structure on plant and arthropod species richness in temperate grasslands, using data from comprehensive plant and arthropod assessments across three regions in Germany and maps of current and historical land cover from three time periods between 1820 and 2016.We calculated local, grassland class and landscape scale metrics for 150 grassland plots. Class and landscape scale metrics were calculated in buffer zones of 100 to 2000 m around the plots. We considered effects on total species richness as well as on the richness of species subsets determined by taxonomy and functional traits related to habitat use, dispersal and feeding.Overall, models containing a combination of present and historical landscape metrics showed the best fit for several functional groups. Comparing three historical time periods, data from the 1820/50s was among the most frequent significant time periods in our models (29.7% of all significant variables).Our results suggest that the historical landscape structure is an important predictor of current species richness across different taxa and functional groups. This needs to be considered to better identify priority sites for conservation and to design biodiversity-friendly land use practices that will affect landscape structure in the future.
Keywords: Species richness; Landscape metrics; GLM; Land-use intensity; Historical landscape structure; Landscape configuration; Landscape composition
College: College of Science
Funders: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
Issue: 3
Start Page: 745
End Page: 762