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Supporting Information to the paper Dembicz, I., Dengler, J. et al. (2021) Fine-grain beta diversity
of Palaearctic grassland vegetation. Journal of Vegetation Science.
Appendix S1. Summary of previous findings for fine-grain β-diversity (z-values) in relationship to
the predictors analysed in our study.
Table S1. Summary of previous findings of relationships between fine-grain β-diversity (z-values)
and the predictors analysed in our study. The symbols “+”,“ and ”∪” indicate significant
positive, negative and u-shaped relationships, respectively. If a certain study used a related, but
not identical predictor, this is given in the last column. If a certain study did not use z-values but
other measures of fine-grain β-diversity, this is indicated in the footnotes.
Predictor/predictor group
Variable taken as a proxy (in brackets
indication where the highest level of the
predictor is expected)
Previous findings for fine-grain β-diversity (with
1. Taxonomic group
Vascular plants vs. bryophytes vs. lichens
Bryophytes < vascular plants (Turtureanu et al., 2014)
2. Biogeographic
2.1 Latitude
“–” (Kraft et al., 2011; Qian et al., 2013)
2.2 Elevation
“–” (Kraft et al., 2011; Tello et al., 20151; Moradi et al.,
2020), “+” (Dembicz et al., 2021)
2.3 Mean annual
“+” (Talebi et al., 2021); minimum temperature of
coldest month: ” +” (Turtureanu et al., 2014; Moradi et
al., 2020)
2.4 Mean annual
” (Polyakova
et al., 2016); precipitation of driest
month: “+” (Talebi et al., 2021)
2.5 Temperature
2.6 Precipitation
3. Ecological (site)
3.1 Productivity
(i.e. absence of
Soil pH (at intermediate level)
Fertilisation (if present)
Soil nitrogen: “+” (Moradi et al., 2020)
Mean soil depth (at high level)
“–” (Filibeck et al., 2019)
Herb layer cover (at high level)
“+” (DeMalach et al., 20192)
3.2 Disturbance
Slope inclination (at high level)
“+” (Dembicz et al., 2021)
Litter cover (at low level)
“+” (Turtureanu et al., 2014, Kuzemko et al., 2016)
Dembicz et al. (2021) Fine-grain beta diversity of Palaearctic grassland vegetation - Appendix S1 p. 2
Predictor/predictor group
Variable taken as a proxy (in brackets
indication where the highest level of the
predictor is expected)
Previous findings for fine-grain β-diversity (with
Naturalness (at low level)
Livestock grazing (if present)
Abandonment of grazing (as inverse of disturbance):
“+” (Dupré and Diekmann, 2001)
Mowing (if present)
Burning (if present)
3.3 Heterogeneity
Soil depth CV (at high level)
Soil pH CV: “+” (DeMalach et al., 20192)
Microtopography (at high level)
“+” (Polyakova et al., 2016); index of environmental
heterogeneity: ” +“’ (Harner and Harper, 1976)
Rock and stone cover (at intermediate
“+” (Filibeck et al., 2019)
Shrub cover (at intermediate level*)
“+” (DeMalach et al., 20192)
4. Alpha diversity
c-value [i.e. the modelled species richness
at 1 m²]
“+” (Zhang et al., 20143)
1 Tello et al. (2015) used multiplicative β-diversity based on the exponential of Shannon diversity (instead of species richness).
2 DeMalach et al. (2019) used the slope parameter b1 of the logarithmic function modelled to species accumulation curves derived
from non-contiguous plots.
3 Zhang et al. (2014) used additive β-diversity.
*Highest heterogeneity is assumed when two “habitat types”, i.e. grassy and rocky parts or grassy and shrubby parts, respectively,
cover similar fractions of the plot.
DeMalach, N., Saiz, H., Zaady, E. and Maestre, F. T. (2019) Plant species-area relationships are determined by
evenness, cover and aggregations in drylands worldwide. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 28, 290299.
Dembicz, I., Velev, N., Boch, S., Janišová, M., Palpurina, S., Pedashenko, H. et al. (2021) Drivers of plant diversity in
Bulgarian dry grasslands vary across spatial scales and functional-taxonomic groups. Journal of Vegetation Science,
Dupré, C. and Diekmann, M. (2001) Differences in species richness and life-history traits between grazed and
abandoned grasslands in southern Sweden. Ecography, 24, 275286.
Filibeck, G., Sperandii, M. G., Bazzichetto, M., Mancini, L. D., Rossini, F. and Cancellieri, L. (2019) Exploring the drivers
of vascular plant richness at very fine spatial scale in sub-Mediterranean limestone grasslands (Central Apennines,
Italy). Biodiversity and Conservation, 28, 27012725.
Harner, R. F. and Harper, K. T. (1976) The role of area, heterogeneity, and favorability in plant species diversity of
pinyon-juniper ecosystems. Ecology, 57, 12541263.
Kraft, N. J. B., Comita, L. S., Chase, J. M., Sanders, N. J., Swenson, N. G.,Crist, T. O. et al. (2011) Disentangling the
drivers of b diversity along latitudinal and elevational gradients. Science, 333, 17551758.
Kuzemko, A. A., Steinbauer, M. J., Becker, T., Didukh, Y. P., Dolnik, C., Jeschke, M. et al. (2016) Patterns and drivers of
phytodiversity in steppe grasslands of Central Podolia (Ukraine). Biodiversity and Conservation, 25, 22332250.
Moradi, H., Fattorini, S. and Oldeland, J. (2020) Influence of elevation on the species-area relationship. Journal of
Biogeography, 47, 20292041.
Polyakova, M. A., Dembicz, I., Becker, T., Becker, U., Demina, O. N., Ermakov, N. et al. (2016) Scale- and taxon-
dependent patterns of plant diversity in steppes of Khakassia, South Siberia (Russia). Biodiversity and Conservation,
25, 2251−2273.
Dembicz et al. (2021) Fine-grain beta diversity of Palaearctic grassland vegetation - Appendix S1 p. 3
Qian, H., Shen, S., Mao, L. and Quyang, Z. (2013) Drivers of β-diversity along latitudinal gradients revisited. Global
Ecology and Biogeography, 22, 659670.
Talebi, A., Farideh, A., Naqinezhad, A., Dembicz, I. and Dengler, J. (2021) Scale-dependent patterns and drivers of plant
diversity in steppe grasslands of the Central Alborz Mts., Iran. Journal of Vegetation Science [in print].
Tello, J. S., Myers, J. A., Macía, M. J., Fuentes, A. F., Cayola, L., Arellano, G. et al. (2015) Elevational gradients in β-
diversity reflect variation in the strength of local community assembly mechanisms across spatial scales. PloS ONE,
10, e0121458.
Turtureanu, P. D., Palpurina, S., Becker, T., Dolnik, C., Ruprecht, E., Sutcliffe, L. M. E. et al. (2014) Scale-and taxon-
dependent biodiversity patterns of dry grassland vegetation in Transylvania. Agriculture, Ecosystems and
Environment, 182, 1524.
Zhang, Q., Hou, X., Li, F.Y., Niu, J., Zhou, Y., Ding, Y. et al. (2014) Alpha, beta and gamma diversity differ in response to
precipitation in the Inner Mongolia grassland. PLoS ONE, 9, e93518.

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