Does catchment geodiversity foster stream biodiversity?
Kärnä, Olli-Matti; Heino, Jani; Laamanen, Tiina; Jyrkänkallio-Mikkola, Jenny; Pajunen, Virpi; Soininen, Janne; Tolonen, Kimmo T.; Tukiainen, Helena; Hjort, Jan (2019). Does catchment geodiversity foster stream biodiversity?. Landscape Ecology, 34 (10), 2469-2485. DOI: 10.1007/s10980-019-00901-z
Published inLandscape Ecology
© The Authors, 2019
Context One approach to maintain the resilience of biotic communities is to protect the variability of abiotic characteristics of Earth’s surface, i.e. geodiversity. In terrestrial environments, the relationship between geodiversity and biodiversity is well recognized. In streams, the abiotic properties of upstream catchments influence stream communities, but the relationships between catchment geodiversity and aquatic biodiversity have not been previously tested. Objectives The aim was to compare the effects of local environmental and catchment variables on stream biodiversity. We specifically explored the usefulness of catchment geodiversity in explaining the species richness on stream macroinvertebrate, diatom and bacterial communities. Methods We used 3 geodiversity variables, 2 land use variables and 4 local habitat variables to examine species richness variation across 88 stream sites in western Finland. We used boosted regression trees to explore the effects of geodiversity and other variables on biodiversity. Results We detected a clear effect of catchment geodiversity on species richness, although the traditional local habitat and land use variables were the strongest predictors. Especially soil-type richness appeared as an important factor for species richness. While variables related to stream size were the most important for macroinvertebrate richness and partly for bacterial richness, the importance of water chemistry and land use for diatom richness was notable. Conclusions In addition to traditional environmental variables, geodiversity may affect species richness variation in streams, for example through changes in water chemistry. Geodiversity information could be used as a proxy for predicting stream species richness and offers a supplementary tool for conservation efforts. ...