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The Palaearctic steppe biome : a new synthesis

Title data

Wesche, Karsten ; Ambarlı, Didem ; Kamp, Johannes ; Török, Péter ; Treiber, Jan ; Dengler, Jürgen:
The Palaearctic steppe biome : a new synthesis.
In: Biodiversity and Conservation. Vol. 25 (2016) Issue 12 . - pp. 2197-2231.
ISSN 1572-9710
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10531-016-1214-7

Abstract in another language

The Palearctic steppe biome ranges from the Mediterranean basin towards China, forming one of the largest continuous terrestrial biomes. The literature on steppe ecology and conservation is vast but scattered and often not available in English. We provide a review of some key topics based on a new definition of steppes, which includes also Mediterranean steppes and alpine rangelands of the Asian Highlands[A1] . Revisiting the terrestrial ecoregions of the world, we estimate that the Palaearctic steppe biome extends over ca. 10.5 million km². Major chorological regions differ in their macroclimatic niche with a clear distinction between Middle Asia with its winter precipitation and the Central Asian summer-rain regions of the Mongolian plateau and of Tibet. Steppe soils store large amounts of carbon, yet the sequestration potential is debated and depends on land use. Major physiognomic-ecological steppe types include forest-, typical-, desert-, and alpine-steppe, which vary in the importance of grasses, mainly C3 species. The steppes host a specialised fauna, and Middle Asia, Tibet, and especially Mongolia, have large herds of migrating ungulates. The share of pristine and protected sites is low in the steppe regions, with conversion into croplands being the most important land use impact in Europe, Middle Asia, and the Mediterranean, while grazing has a severe impact in some parts of Mongolia and Tibet. There are major gaps in our knowledge on: (1) the effects of climate change on the crucial seasonal patterns; (2) the role of steppe soils in the global carbon budget; and (3) the ecology and distribution of most animal groups except vertebrates.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Additional notes: BAYCEER137633
Keywords: Biogeography; Climate change; Grazing; Palaearctic; Protected area; Steppe biome
Institutions of the University: Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Research Centres
Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology > Chair Plant Ecology
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Biology
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science
Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2018 09:01
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2019 07:16
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/41419