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Data from: Species and genetic diversity are not congruent in fragmented dry grasslands

Cite this dataset

Reisch, Christoph; Schmid, Christoph (2019). Data from: Species and genetic diversity are not congruent in fragmented dry grasslands [Dataset]. Dryad.


Biological diversity comprises both species diversity (SD) and genetic diversity (GD) and it has been postulated that both levels of diversity depend on similar mechanisms. Species-genetic diversity correlations (SGDC) are, therefore, supposed to be generally positive. However, in contrast to theory, empirical data are contradictory. Furthermore, there is a pronounced lack of multispecies studies including also the ecological factors potentially driving species and genetic diversity. We analysed the relationship between the species diversity of dry grasslands and the genetic diversity of several dry grassland plant species, therefore, in the context of habitat fragmentation and habitat conditions. Our study revealed a lack of correlation between species and genetic diversity. We demonstrated previously that SD mainly depends on habitat conditions (vegetation height and cover of litter), whereas GD is significantly affected by habitat fragmentation (distance to the nearest dry grassland in 1830 and connectivity in 2013). This seems to be the main reason why SD and GD are not congruent in fragmented grasslands. Our results support, hence, the observation that positive SGDCs can mainly be found in natural, island like study systems in equilibrium and at similar levels of heterogeneity. In fragmented dry grassland ecosystems, which differ in heterogeneity, this state of equilibrium may not have been reached mitigating the positive relationship between SD and GD. From our study it can be concluded that in fragmented dry grasslands the protection of SD does not necessarily ensure the conservation of GD.

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