EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Temporal pattern of terrestrial plant diversity in northern Fennoscandia

Dilli Prasad Rijal, Peter D. Heintzman, Youri Lammers, Nigel Gilles Yoccoz, Tony Gavin Brown, Kelsey Lorberau, Dorothee Ehrich, Iva Pitelkova, Tomasz Goslar, Jostein Bakke, Kari Anne Bråthen, and Inger Greve Alsos
Dilli Prasad Rijal et al.
  • UIT-The Arctic University of Norway, Department of Arctic and Marine Biology, Norway (

Understanding the dynamics of biodiversity in the past will contribute to a better informed inference of future biodiversity. Palaeoecological patterns in biodiversity are mainly preserved in natural archives such as lake sediments. Using ancient DNA from the sediment of 10 lakes from northern Fennoscandia, we analysed terrestrial plant diversity pattern for the entire Holocene, and how these patterns correspond to drivers of change such as temperature and biota. We modeled temporal trends in taxonomic richness and turnover using generalized additive models (GAM). We included delta oxygen isotope values from North Greenland Ice Core Project as a proxy for regional temperature, and the presence of dominant woody species as biotic drivers of terrestrial plant diversity.  

Results show a general tendency of an increase in species richness from the early Holocene onwards, but this pattern is asynchronous across the lakes, with some lakes having a peak in diversity in the mid-Holocene (8,000-6,000 cal. BP), late Holocene (~2,500 cal. BP), or in recent times. The turnover decreases in most of the lakes throughout the Holocene. Meanwhile, it consistently increases in a few lakes. With some exceptions, temperature and biotic variable differentially affects the richness and turnover across the lakes. Our study from multiple lakes and heterogeneous habitats may be able to identify the main drivers of past biodiversity changes in these systems. As a result, it may help us to understand the mechanisms of change so that the impacts of current climate change and biotic factors on biodiversity may be assessed.


Author's list and affiliations:

Dilli Prasad Rijal1, Peter D. Heintzman2, Youri Lammers2, Nigel Gilles Yoccoz1, Tony Gavin Brown2,3, Kelsey Lorberau1, Dorothee Ehrich1, Iva Pitelkova2, Tomasz Goslar4, Jostein Bakke5, Kari Anne Bråthen1, Inger Greve Alsos2

1Department of Arctic and Marine Biology, UiT - The Arctic University of Norway, NO-9037 Tromsø, Norway.

2The Arctic University Museum of Norway, UiT - The Arctic University of Norway, NO-9037 Tromsø, Norway.

3School of Geography and Environmental Science, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton, SO17 1BJ, UK.4

4Faculty of Physics, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland

5Department of Earth Science, University of Bergen, 5020 Bergen, Norway

How to cite: Rijal, D. P., Heintzman, P. D., Lammers, Y., Yoccoz, N. G., Brown, T. G., Lorberau, K., Ehrich, D., Pitelkova, I., Goslar, T., Bakke, J., Bråthen, K. A., and Alsos, I. G.: Temporal pattern of terrestrial plant diversity in northern Fennoscandia, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-12257,, 2020

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