Postglacial species arrival and diversity buildup of northern ecosystems took millennia
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionScience Advances. 2022, 8, eabo7434. 10.1126/sciadv.abo7434
What drives ecosystem buildup, diversity, and stability? We assess species arrival and ecosystem changes across 16 millennia by combining regional-scale plant sedimentary ancient DNA from Fennoscandia with near-complete DNA and trait databases. We show that postglacial arrival time varies within and between plant growth forms. Further, arrival times were mainly predicted by adaptation to temperature, disturbance, and light. Major break points in ecological trait diversity were seen between 13.9 and 10.8 calibrated thousand years before the present (cal ka BP), as well as break point in functional diversity at 12.0 cal ka BP, shifting from a state of ecosystem buildup to a state where most habitat types and biotic ecosystem components were in place. Trait and functional diversity stabilized around 8 cal ka BP, after which both remained stable, although changes in climate took place and species inflow continued. Our ecosystem reconstruction indicates a millennial-scale time phase of formation to reach stable and resilient levels of diversity and functioning.