Ecological versus historical deteminants of plant species distribution in the Austrian Alps

There is increasing awareness that many plant species are not in equilibrium with their current environment. In the present study we want to examine (1) the extent to which plant species of alpine grasslands fill their potential range as predicted by habitat distribution models which are based on the assumption that species are in equilibrium with current environmental conditions, and (2) if differences in range filling can be explained by species functional traits. Distribution models will be derived by linking spatially explicit data of species presence and site environmental data on climate, geological bedrock, and topography. Quantification of range filling will be done by comparing the modelled distribution with data of the floristic inventory of Austria.

Funding: Austrian Academy of Science
Partners: Dr. Hans-Georg Krenmayr
Geological Survey of Austria

em. Univ.-Prof. Dr. Harald Niklfeld
Ass.-Prof. Dr. Luise Ehrendorfer-Schratt
Dep. of Biogeography, University of Vienna

Project start: September 2007
Project time: 34 months
Project leader: Stefan Dullinger

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