Bryophyte diversity accross an altitudinal gradient in the Azores

  • Estado
  • Nome
    Débora Sofia Gouveia Henriques
  • Entidade de acolhimento
    CITA-A – Centro de Investigação e Tecnologias Agrárias dos Açores


a) Update the bryophyte species list and species distribution information for the Azores archipelago;
b) Assess bryophyte diversity along altitudinal gradients both at the species and functional group levels in Terceira, Pico and Faial islands;
c) Study the resulting patterns and correlate them with several environmental factors, assessing their role in maintaining bryophyte alpha and functional diversity;
d) Compare results between different scales (plot, transect and islands) and use them to predict plausible impacts of future climate change scenarios in the islands bryoflora.

In particular, we are interested in answering the following additional questions:

i) Are there empty functional spaces still not occupied by species in the altitudinal gradient?;
ii) Is the number of species randomly established across the whole functional hyperspace?;
iii) Is local functional diversity the consequence of local processes directed to limit the number of coexisting species with similar functions?;
iv) Assuming that the current comparative diversity of the different functional groups is not homogeneous at all considered scales (island, plot), is the local functional diversity a random allotment of the diversity that we can find among the functional groups present in a region?