Bagella, Simonetta (2014) Does cross-taxon analysis show similarity in diversity patterns between vascular plants and bryophytes? Some answers from a literature review. Comptes rendus. Biologies, Vol. 337 (4), p. 276-282. eISSN 1768-3238. Article.
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The objective of this study was to clarify the taxon surrogacy hypothesis relative to vascular plants and bryophytes. A literature review was conducted to obtain papers that met the following criteria: (i) they examined species richness values; or (ii) they evaluated the species richness within the same study sites, or under the same spatial variation conditions. Twenty-seven papers were accessed. The richness of the two taxa, compared in 32 cases, positively co-varied in about half of the comparisons. The response to the spatial variation in environmental or human-induced factors of the two taxa in terms of species richness was rather variable. Based on current knowledge, the main documented findings regard forest habitats and nival gradients. In forest habitats, co-variation in species richness is likely when similar environments are analysed and seems to be strengthened for boreal forests. Along the nival gradient, a different response in terms of richness of the two taxa suggests that vascular plants cannot be considered good surrogates for bryophytes.
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