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Earth Surface Dynamics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-2019-32
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-2019-32
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 26 Jun 2019

Submitted as: research article | 26 Jun 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of this manuscript was accepted for the journal Earth Surface Dynamics (ESurf) and is expected to appear here in due course.

Mapping landscape connectivity under tectonic and climatic forcing

Tristan Salles1, Patrice Rey1, and Enrico Bertuzzo2 Tristan Salles et al.
  • 1School of Geosciences, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, 2006, Australia
  • 2Dipartimento di Scienze Ambientali, Informatica e Statistica, Università Ca'Foscari Venezia, Venice, Italy

Abstract. Species distribution and richness ultimately result from complex interactions between biological, physical and environmental factors. It has been recently shown for a static natural landscape that the elevational connectivity, which measures the proximity of a site to others with similar habitats, is a key physical driver of local species richness. Here we examine changes in elevational connectivity during mountain building using a landscape evolution model. We find that under uniform tectonic and variable climatic forcing, connectivity peaks at mid-elevations when the landscape reaches its geomorphic steady-state and that orographic effect on geomorphic evolution tends to favour low connectivity on leeward facing catchments. Statistical comparisons between connectivity distribution and results from a metacommunity model confirm that landscape elevation connectivity explains to the first order species richness in simulated mountainous regions. Our results also predict that low connectivity areas which favour isolation, a driver for in-situ speciation, are distributed across the entire elevational range for simulated orogenic cycles. Rapid adjustments of catchment morphology after cessation of tectonic activity should reduce speciation by decreasing the number of isolated regions.

Tristan Salles et al.
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Interactive discussion
Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement
Tristan Salles et al.
Tristan Salles et al.
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Short summary
Mountainous landscapes have long been recognized as potential drivers for genetic drift, speciation and ecological resilience. We present a novel approach that can be used to assess and quantify drivers of biodiversity, speciation and endemism over geological times. Using coupled climate-landscape models, we show that biodiversity under tectonic and climatic forcing relates to a first-order to landscape dynamic and that landscapes complexity drives species richness through the orogenic history.
Mountainous landscapes have long been recognized as potential drivers for genetic drift,...
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