Introduction of snow and geomorphic disturbance variables into predictive models of alpine plant distribution in the Western Swiss Alps

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Serval ID
serval:BIB_DD37A3B7A99B
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
Collection
Publications
Institution
Title
Introduction of snow and geomorphic disturbance variables into predictive models of alpine plant distribution in the Western Swiss Alps
Journal
Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research
Author(s)
Randin C.F., Vuissoz G., Liston G., Vittoz P., Guisan A.
ISSN
1523-0430
Publication state
Published
Issued date
2009
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Volume
41
Number
3
Pages
347-361
Language
english
Abstract
Indirect topographic variables have been used successfully as surrogates for disturbance processes in plant species distribution models (SDM) in mountain environments. However, no SDM studies have directly tested the performance of disturbance variables. In this study, we developed two disturbance variables: a geomorphic index (GEO) and an index of snow redistribution by wind (SNOW). These were developed in order to assess how they improved both the fit and predictive power of presenceabsence SDM based on commonly used topoclimatic (TC) variables for 91 plants in the Western Swiss Alps. The individual contribution of the disturbance variables was compared to TC variables. Maps of models were prepared to spatially test the effect of disturbance variables. On average, disturbance variables significantly improved the fit but not the predictive power of the TC models and their individual contribution was weak (5.6% for GEO and 3.3% for SNOW). However their maximum individual contribution was important (24.7% and 20.7%). Finally, maps including disturbance variables (i) were significantly divergent from TC models in terms of predicted suitable surfaces and connectivity between potential habitats, and (ii) were interpreted as more ecologically relevant. Disturbance variables did not improve the transferability of models at the local scale in a complex mountain system, and the performance and contribution of these variables were highly species-specific. However, improved spatial projections and change in connectivity are important issues when preparing projections under climate change because the future range size of the species will determine the sensitivity to changing conditions.
Web of science
Open Access
Yes
Create date
18/01/2009 23:22
Last modification date
20/08/2019 17:02
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