Biodiversity patterns of vascular plant species in mountain vegetation in the Faroe Islands
Diversity and Distributions: A journal of biological invasions and biodiversity
Biodiversity patterns of vascular plant species were studied along altitudinal gradients in the Faroe Islands. Plants were sampled from five different mountains (150 -856 m a.s.l.) at 50 m altitudinal intervals. Included in the study were 107 vascular plant species. In order to compare only altitudes with the same number of plots, three different analyses were carried out. One analysis included five mountains from 250 to 750 m a.s.l., one had three mountains from 150 to 750 m a.s.l., and the
... a.s.l., and the last one had two mountains from 750 to 850 m a.s.l. The patterns of biodiversity were evaluated on the basis of species richness as the total number of species at each altitudinal interval, as species turnover between altitudes and in relation to the Shannon-Wiener index. Similar patterns were found for species richness in the three analyses, although richness was higher along the whole transect when five mountains were included. For the Shannon-Wiener index, only small differences were found among the three analyses. A maximum was seen at 250 m a.s.l. and again at 500 m a.s.l. both in richness and in the Shannon-Wiener index. Maximum species turnover was found at mid-altitudes. Total vegetation cover followed the same pattern as richness. In addition to climate, the altitudinal variation of biodiversity may be affected by grazing.