Plant life at the dry limit-Spatial patterns of floristic diversity and composition around the hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert

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Title:Main Title: Plant life at the dry limit-Spatial patterns of floristic diversity and composition around the hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert
Description:Abstract: Extreme arid conditions in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile have created a unique vegetation almost entirely restricted to the desert margins along the coast of the Pacific Ocean and the Andean range. In this study we provide data on the desert vegetation along elevational gradients at four localities from the western Andean slopes, between 19° and 21° S. Additionally, zonation of floristic data was explored. Three altitudinal zones could be classified and described in detail for each locality. Conspicuously divergent floras in the Atacama Desert have been recorded in the coastal 'lomas formations' and in the Andean desert vegetation, separated by a narrow band of absolute desert. In this study, we investigate the floristic relationships between both regions by implementing similarity analyses for 21 localities from the coastal and Andean deserts in northern Chile. Our results show a drastic east-west divergence in pairwise floristic similarity, which is in stark contrast to a weaker north-south divergence. A biotic barrier, preventing plant exchange from east to west and vice versa, imposed by the hyperarid conditions of the absolute desert, is one possible explanation for this finding. Moreover, the coastal and Andean deserts likely represent ecologically divergent habitats, e.g., in rainfall seasonality. Essential differences in factors determining plant life between both regions have probably contributed to a divergent evolution of the floras. Both explanations-ecological divergence and ecogeographical isolation-are not mutually exclusive, but likely complementary. We also combined floristic data from northern Chile and southern Peru. Similarity analyses of this combined dataset provide first floristic evidence for the existence of a biotic north-south corridor along the western slope of the Andes. Sub-Andean distributions of several species are discussed in the light of floristic connectivity between the Peruvian and Chilean Andean floristic clusters.
Identifier:10.1371/journal.pone.0233729 (DOI)
Related Resource:Is Source Of Dataset https://www.crc1211db.uni-koeln.de/data.php?dataID=369 (URL)
Responsible Party
Creators:Jonathan Ruhm (Author), Tim Böhnert (Author), Maximilian Weigend (Author), Felix F. Merklinger (Author), Alexandra Stoll (Author), Dietmar Quandt (Author), Federico Luebert (Author)
Publisher:PLOS
Publication Year:2020
Topic
CRC1211 Topic:Biology
Related Subproject:B1
Subjects:Keywords: Biodiversity, Biogeography, Ecology of Plants, Taxonomy
File Details
Filename:Ruhm_etal_2020_Plant_life_at_the_dry_limit_PlosOne.pdf
Data Type:Text - Article
File Size:3.3 MB
Date:Available: 29.05.2020
Mime Type:application/pdf
Data Format:PDF
Language:English
Status:Completed
Constraints
Download Permission:Free
General Access and Use Conditions:According to the CRC1211DB data policy agreement.
Access Limitations:According to the CRC1211DB data policy agreement.
Licence:None
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Specific Information - Publication
Publication Status:Published
Review Status:Peer reviewed
Publication Type:Article
Article Type:Journal
Source:PLoS ONE
Issue:5
Volume:15
Number of Pages:21 (1 - 21)
Metadata Details
Metadata Creator:Tim Böhnert
Metadata Created:02.06.2020
Metadata Last Updated:02.06.2020
Subproject:B1
Funding Phase:1
Metadata Language:English
Metadata Version:V50
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