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Macroecology and Biogeography meeting

May 3rd to 6th 2023 - Universität Bayreuth

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Volcanic ash as a selective drivers of woodiness on oceanic islands

Carl Beierkuhnlein1, Manuel Nogales2, Richard Field3, Ole R. Vetaas4, Anna Walentowitz1, Frank Weiser1, Reinhold Stahlmann1, María Guerrero-Campos5, Anke Jentsch6, Félix M. Medina5, Alessandro Chiarucci7
1 Biogeography (University of Bayreuth)
2 Instituto de Productos Naturales y Agrobiología (IPNA-CSIC), La Laguna, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain
3 School of Geography, University of Nottingham, NG7 2RD, UK
4 Department of Geography, University of Bergen, Norway
5 Área de Medio Ambiente, Gestión y Planeamiento Territorial y Ambiental (GesPlan S. A.), Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain
6 Disturbance Ecology, University of Bayreuth
7 BIOME Lab, Department of Biological, Geological & Environmental Sciences, Alma Mater Studiorum – University of Bologna, Italy

P 2.17 in Poster Session Friday (14:45-15:30)

Volcanic islands on the oceanic crust (oceanic islands) play an important role in island biogeography and for the understanding of fundamental mechanisms of biodiversity and evolution. Volcanic eruptions are a characteristic trait of these islands during their originating phase (approx. 2 to 5 mio y). Even if volcanic eruptions are highly frequent in evolutionary time scales, their ecological consequences have not been addressed by research in detail so far, as this is only possible in due course with the eruption.

Here, we present a concept that adds a new facet to the current discussion on island woodiness. The enhanced proportion (relative to continents) of woody species across different plant families and genera is a common phenomenon on oceanic islands. Hitherto, island woodiness has mostly been attributed to the climatic conditions on islands. However, even if the oceanic matrix provides a more equilibrated climate than is found in most continental sites, island climates differ a lot, depending on their locations and topography. In contrast to weather data, data on volcanic impacts are rare in global databases, giving a hint as to why such processes are considered less in macroecology.

Lavandula canariensis thriving and flowering after volcanic ash deposition close to the Tajogaite volcano, La Palma.
Lavandula canariensis thriving and flowering after volcanic ash deposition close to the Tajogaite volcano, La Palma.

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