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The hitchhiker's guide to island endemism : biodiversity and endemic perennial plant species in roadside and surrounding vegetation

Title data

Irl, Severin D. H. ; Steinbauer, Manuel ; Epperlein, Lilith ; Harter, David ; Jentsch, Anke ; Pätz, Susanne ; Wohlfart, Christian ; Beierkuhnlein, Carl:
The hitchhiker's guide to island endemism : biodiversity and endemic perennial plant species in roadside and surrounding vegetation.
In: Biodiversity and Conservation. Vol. 23 (2014) Issue 9 . - pp. 2273-2287.
ISSN 1572-9710
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10531-014-0722-6

Abstract in another language

Roadsides are habitats with very specific environmental conditions, often substantially differing from their natural surroundings. However, roads can have a positive effect on local vascular plant species richness. Endemic species on oceanic islands are considered to be less disturbance-adapted than native non-endemics and thus should be negatively affected by roads. Islands provide optimal conditions for testing this, as they possess a large share of clearly defined endemic species. This study focuses on a comparison of endemic plant species in roadside and surrounding communities and the interacting effects of elevation, vegetation type and trade wind-induced precipitation differences. We applied 96 circular plots with 50 m radius along two elevational gradients on the eastern (humid) and western (dry) slope of La Palma, Canary Islands, ranging from 100 to 2,400 m. Interestingly, we found roads to have a significant positive effect on endemic richness and the percentage of endemics as well as the same tendency for plant species richness after correcting for elevation and precipitation. Endemic species turnover was relatively high. The opening of cliffs during construction and, not to be overlooked, the protection from disturbances such as fire and omnipresent introduced herbivores (mainly rabbits or goats) probably leads to a positive effect of roads on endemics. In addition, many endemics might profit from species-specific dispersal capabilities well suited for roadside conditions. However, we do not argue for the use or even construction of roads for nature conservation but suggest protecting existing endemic populations because natural areas have a higher conservation value.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Additional notes: BAYCEER121557
ISI:000339104300009
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Chair Biogeography
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Chair Biogeography > Chair Biogeography - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Carl Beierkuhnlein
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Professorship Disturbance Ecology
Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Faculties
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences
Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Research Centres
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science
500 Science > 570 Life sciences, biology
500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2015 11:55
Last Modified: 02 Sep 2019 06:44
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/11346