Influence of microclimate and geomorphological factors on alpine vegetation in the Western Swiss Alps

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Serval ID
serval:BIB_BC325390EDEB
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
Collection
Publications
Title
Influence of microclimate and geomorphological factors on alpine vegetation in the Western Swiss Alps
Journal
Earth Surface Processes and Landforms
Author(s)
Giaccone E., Luoto M., Vittoz P., Guisan A., Mariéthoz G., Lambiel C.
ISSN
0197-9337
1096-9837
Publication state
In Press
Language
english
Abstract
Among the numerous environmental factors affecting plant communities in alpine ecosystems, the influence of geomorphic
processes and landforms has been minimally investigated. Subjected to persistent climate warming, it is vital to understand
how these factors affect vegetation properties. Here, we studied 72 vegetation plots across three sites located in the Western Swiss
Alps, characterized by high geomorphological variability and plant diversity. For each plot, vascular plant species were inventoried
and ground surface temperature, soil moisture, topographic variables, earth surface processes (ESPs) and landform morphodynamics
were assessed. The relationships between plant communities and environmental variables were analysed using non-metric multidimensional
scaling (NMDS) and multivariate regression techniques (generalized linear model, GLM, and generalized additive
model, GAM). Landform morphodynamics, growing degree days (sum of degree days above 5°C) and mean ground surface temperature
were the most important explanatory variables of plant community composition. Furthermore, the regression models for species
cover and species richness were significantly improved by adding a morphodynamics variable. This study provides
complementary support that landform morphodynamics is a key factor, combined with growing degree days, to explain alpine plant
distribution and community composition.
Keywords
Earth-Surface Processes, Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous), Geography, Planning and Development
Create date
18/09/2019 13:59
Last modification date
10/12/2019 6:17
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