Spatial pattern of beta diversity of plant species in the Greater Cape Floristic Region of South Africa

Authors: Qianru Liao*, University at Buffalo
Topics: Biogeography, Physical Geography, Africa
Keywords: Biodiversity, spatial pattern
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Cleveland 1, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

The Greater Cape Floristic Region (GCFR) includes two global biodiversity hotspots (Succulent Karoo and Fynbos) and is well-known for its plant biodiversity – it contains nearly 20% of Africa’s plant species in <0.5% of Africa’s total area. It also has strong spatial environmental gradients in temperature, precipitation, seasonality, and elevation. In this study we compare several biodiversity metrics (including richness and turnover) with the underlying environmental variability to test the hypothesis that plant richness and turnover is higher in areas with more environmental variability. The highest richness (total number of species) is observed in the south-western mountain ranges, while beta diversity (species turnover in space) is higher along the east-west mountain ranges in the south-eastern part. And nestedness, which means the degree of species assemblage turns to a strict subset of another species assemblages, is higher in the flat areas in the north-west.

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