Dec 29, 2015

Riparian ecosystem in the alpine connectome. Terrestrial-aquatic and terrestrial-terrestrial interactions in high elevation lakes

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Dragos G ZaharescuRichard N Lester

Abstract

Alpine regions are under increased attention worldwide do their role in storing freshwater of high quality and their high sensitivity to climate change - comparable only to the poles. Riparian ecosystems in such regions, integrating water and nutrient fluxes from aquatic and terrestrial environments, host a disproportionally rich biodiversity, despite experiencing severe climate and nutrient restrictions. With climate change rapidly encroaching in the alpine biome, it is important to fully understand how the lake and its surrounding landscape elements sustain such rich ecosystems, before their functional connectivity could be seriously severed. A total of 189 glacial origin lakes in the Central Pyrenees were surveyed to test how key elements of lake and terrestrial environments work together at different scales to shape the riparian plant composition. Secondly, we evaluated how these ecotope features drive the formation of riparian communities potentially sensitive to environmental change, and assessed their habitat distribution. At each lake plant taxonomic composition was assessed together with elemental composition of water and sediment and ecosystem-relevant geographical factors. At macroscale vegetation composition respond...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Study
Manganese
Connectome
Environment
Nutrients
Central Area of Central Tendon
Sustain
Sediment
Analysis
Limestone

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