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Habitat diversity determines ghyll woodland species diversity. Adding complexity to the species area relationship, a new predictive model?

By S. Waite, Niall Burnside and A.R. Flint

Abstract

Ghylls are linear valley features cut into the sandstone beds of the Weald of south-eastern England. The indigenous ghyll woodlands are highly species rich, supporting distinctive assemblages of cryptogamic plants. We assessed the ability of the species-area relationship, the Choros model and a modified version of the Choros model to describe variations in higher plant diversity. Principal component analysis (PCA) was used to produce proxy environmental variables, multi-regression analysis of which allowed factors determining diversity to be investigated. Field layer diversity varied substantially between ghylls. The data did not fit the species area relationship. A statistically weak fit was provided by the standard Choros model. The modified Choros model, incorporating a PCA generated proxy variable for habitat diversity, provided a good fit. The results suggest that ghyll field layer diversity is primarily determined by habitat diversity and to a lesser extent by ghyll isolation, length and area

Topics: F890 Geographical and Environmental Sciences not elsewhere classified, F800 Physical Geography and Environmental Sciences, C100 Biology
Publisher: International Association of Landscape Ecology UK
Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.brighton.ac.uk:8051

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