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Article

Bryophyte Diversity along an Elevational Gradient on Pico Island (Azores, Portugal)

1
Azorean Biodiversity Group, CE3C–Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes, Universidade dos Açores, Angra do Heroísmo, 9700-042 Açores, Portugal
2
CIBIO/InBIO–Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos, Universidade do Porto, Porto, 4485-661 Vairão, Portugal
3
Pôle de Protection des Plantes, Université de La Réunion, UMR PVBMT, 7 Chemin de l’IRAT, Saint-Pierre, 97410 Ile de La Réunion, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Both of these authors contributed equally to the paper.
Academic Editors: Mario A. Pagnotta and Maria Panitsa
Diversity 2021, 13(4), 162; https://doi.org/10.3390/d13040162
Received: 9 March 2021 / Revised: 2 April 2021 / Accepted: 4 April 2021 / Published: 8 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Diversity on Islands)
The study of elevational patterns is a valuable method for inferring the influence of the climate and other variables in the regional distributions of species. Bryophytes are ideal for revealing different environmental patterns in elevational studies, since they occur from sea level to above the tree line. Taking advantage of the long elevational transect of Pico Island and the use of standardized survey methods, our main aims were: (1) to identify and characterize the alpha and beta diversities of bryophytes across the full elevational gradient (12 sites of native vegetation, ranging from 10 to 2200 m above sea level [a.s.l.]); (2) to detect the ecological factors driving bryophyte composition; (3) to identify bryophytes’ substrate specificity; and (4) to check the presence of rare and endemic species. The identification of 878 microplots yielded 141 species (71 liverworts and 70 mosses), almost half of those known to occur on Pico Island. The bryophyte species richness followed a parabolic unimodal pattern with a mid-elevation peak, where the richest native forests occur. A canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) of the bryophyte composition and explanatory variables revealed the effect of the elevation, precipitation, disturbance, richness of vascular plants and bark pH in explaining bryophyte compositions at regional levels. Very few species of bryophytes showed substrate specificity. Pico Island’s elevational gradient could be an asset for studying long-term changes in bryophyte species composition and alpha diversity under global change. View Full-Text
Keywords: alpha diversity; species distribution; mosses; liverworts; islands; Macaronesia alpha diversity; species distribution; mosses; liverworts; islands; Macaronesia
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MDPI and ACS Style

Coelho, M.C.M.; Gabriel, R.; Hespanhol, H.; Borges, P.A.V.; Ah-Peng, C. Bryophyte Diversity along an Elevational Gradient on Pico Island (Azores, Portugal). Diversity 2021, 13, 162. https://doi.org/10.3390/d13040162

AMA Style

Coelho MCM, Gabriel R, Hespanhol H, Borges PAV, Ah-Peng C. Bryophyte Diversity along an Elevational Gradient on Pico Island (Azores, Portugal). Diversity. 2021; 13(4):162. https://doi.org/10.3390/d13040162

Chicago/Turabian Style

Coelho, Márcia C.M., Rosalina Gabriel, Helena Hespanhol, Paulo A.V. Borges, and Claudine Ah-Peng. 2021. "Bryophyte Diversity along an Elevational Gradient on Pico Island (Azores, Portugal)" Diversity 13, no. 4: 162. https://doi.org/10.3390/d13040162

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