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 Li1,2, Zhiyong Li3, Xuze Tong4, Lei Dong1,2, Ying Zheng1,2, Jinghui Zhang3, Bailing Miao5, Lixin Wang3, Liqing Zhao3, Lu Wen3, Guodong Han6, Frank Yonghong Li3, and Cunzhu Liang3 Zijing Li et al.
  • 1Yinshanbeilu Grassland Eco-hydrology National Observation and Research Station, China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research, Beijing 100038, China
  • 2Institute of Water Resources for pastoral Area Ministry of Water Resources, Hohhot 010020, Inner Mongolia
  • 3Key Laboratory of Ecology and Resource Use of the Mongolian Plateau, Ministry of Education of China; Collaborative Innovation Center for Grassland Ecological Security, Ministry of Education of China; School of Ecology and Environment, Inner Mongolia University, Hohhot 010021, P. R. China
  • 4Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100081, P. R. China
  • 5Inner Mongolia Meteorological Institute, Hohhot 010051, P. R. China
  • 6Key Laboratory of Grassland Resources of the Ministry of Education, Key Laboratory of Forage Cultivation, Processing and High Efficient Utilization of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Inner Mongolia Key Laboratory of Grassland Management and Utilization, College of Grassland, Resources and Environment, Inner Mongolia Agricultural University, Hohhot 010011, P. R. China

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: open (until 07 Jan 2023)

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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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