Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2022-173
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2022-173
26 Sep 2022
 | 26 Sep 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal BG.

Contemporary biodiversity pattern is affected by climate change at multiple temporal scales in steppe on the Mongolian Plateau

Zijing Li, Zhiyong Li, Xuze Tong, Lei Dong, Ying Zheng, Jinghui Zhang, Bailing Miao, Lixin Wang, Liqing Zhao, Lu Wen, Guodong Han, Frank Yonghong Li, and Cunzhu Liang

Abstract. Present and historical climate conditions jointly determine contemporary biodiversity patterns and ecosystem functions. However, it remains unclear how contemporary climate and paleoclimate changes together affect the three dimensions of biodiversity (i.e., taxonomic diversity, functional diversity and phylogenetic diversity) and their relationship with ecosystem functions. Here, we assess the impact of current climate, paleoclimate and its anomalies on contemporary biodiversity and ecosystem functions. We estimated the taxonomic diversity, functional diversity and phylogenetic diversity of grassland on the Mongolian Plateau using vegetation survey data and trait information. We then used Random Forest models and Structural Equation models to assess the relative importance of the present climate, the Mid Holocene climate, the Last-Glacial Maximum climate and paleoclimate changes as determinants of diversity and aboveground biomass. Our results showed that paleoclimate changes and modern climate jointly determined contemporary biodiversity patterns, while community biomass was mainly affected by modern climate, namely the aridity index. Modern aridity and temperature were two major influences on all three dimensions of biodiversity. Mid-Holocene climate anomalies had a strong effect on species richness and phylogenetic diversity, while functional diversity was mainly affected by temperature anomalies since the Last Glacial Maximum. These findings suggest that contemporary biodiversity patterns may be affected by processes at divergent temporal scales. Our results show that simultaneously exploring the response of the three dimensions of biodiversity in different periods of climate change and the theoretical framework for its impact on community biomass is helpful to provide a more comprehensive understanding of patterns of biodiversity and its relationship with ecosystem functions.

Zijing Li et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on bg-2022-173', Anonymous Referee #1, 07 Oct 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Zijing Li, 04 Apr 2023
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC1', Zijing Li, 04 Apr 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on bg-2022-173', Anonymous Referee #2, 10 Mar 2023
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Zijing Li, 04 Apr 2023

Zijing Li et al.

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Short summary
We used Random Forest models and Structural Equation models to assess the relative importance of the present climate and paleoclimate as determinants of diversity and aboveground biomass. Results showed that paleoclimate changes and modern climate jointly determined contemporary biodiversity patterns, while community biomass was mainly affected by modern climate. These findings suggest that contemporary biodiversity patterns may be affected by processes at divergent temporal scales.
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