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Ole Reidar Vetaas's picture

Ole Reidar Vetaas

Professor, Biogeography
  • E-mailOle.Vetaas@uib.no
  • Phone+47 55 58 93 24+47 958 76 455
  • Visitor Address
    Fosswinckels gate 6
  • Postal Address
    Postboks 7802
    5020 Bergen

Research Abstract

My main research aim is to explain why species are distributed non-randomly in the environment. I am especially interested in the variation of biodiversity from the lowland with high human impact to the summits.  

In Biogeography and geographical ecology, the scale issue is very central; explanations for variation in biodiversity at landscape scale may not apply to crude macroecology scales. My applied research at landscape scale focuses on the effect of human utilization of vegetation and its consequences for biodiversity. The intermediate disturbance hypothesis and succession is central in this type of research endeavor. I am also interested to find out the effect of introduced species on the local biodiversity. The potential and the realised niche concepts are important in this research, both in theory and practice.

At the crude macro scale, I have always used large mountains and their gradients in bioclimate to elucidate the mechanism that influences the richness of species. For instance, the Himalayan range has tropical bioclimate in the lowland and glacier at the top that mimics the latitudinal gradient from equatorial tropical to the arctic zone. I apply these large-scale temperature elevation gradients as in situ experimental sites because they are superior natural non-manipulative or observational experiments in which dramatic changes in climatic characteristics occur over relatively short geographic distances. The experimental situation is even more ideal on discrete sample sites such as isolated oceanic islands with mountains, such as Tenerife and La Palma in the Canary Islands archipelago.

In these studies, I focus on the major unexplained pattern in biogeography that is the global biodiversity patterns. I use data collected and compiled by the natural history tradition to find the principal factors controlling the biodiversity of plants and animals.  I aim to prove that the Water-Energy dynamic model provides the most plausible causation of the major macro-scale patterns in biodiversity. The tenet of WED is simple: when potential evapotranspiration (PET) is low water will freeze and solid water is unavailable for most organisms, and when PET is high water will evaporate and be less available for most organisms. Liquid water as a limited resource is a crucial point because in the non-tropical areas water will potentially be unavailable due to freezing from a few days to almost the whole year. The Energy-productivity models and WED models emphasise how species are constrained by climate conditions and thus where species coexist, but at long temporal scales, the fundamental causes of species richness gradients are in essence the differences in speciation, extinction, and migration. Therefore I am also interested to find a pattern of endemics as well as the phylogenetic- age of families and genera that may elucidate past pattern that represents the legacy of the current diversity distributions

Academic article
  • Show author(s) 2021. A pan-Himalayan test of predictions on plant species richness based on primary production and water-energy dynamics. Frontiers of Biogeography.
  • Show author(s) 2020. Microtopography driven plant species composition in alpine region: a fine-scale study from Southern Norway. Journal of Mountain Science. 542-555.
  • Show author(s) 2020. Changes in plant species richness after cessation of forest disturbance. Applied Vegetation Science.
  • Show author(s) 2020. Assessing the Potential Replacement of Laurel Forest by a Novel Ecosystem in the Steep Terrain of an Oceanic Island. Remote Sensing.
  • Show author(s) 2020. A grid-based map for the Biogeographical Regions of Europe. Biodiversity Data Journal.
  • Show author(s) 2019. Principal factors controlling biodiversity along an elevation gradient: Water, energy and their interaction. Journal of Biogeography.
  • Show author(s) 2019. GrassPlot v. 2.00 – first update on the database of multi-scale plant diversity in Palaearctic grasslands. Palaearctic Grasslands. 26-47.
  • Show author(s) 2019. Geophysical, evolutionary and ecological processes interact to drive phylogenetic dispersion in angiosperm assemblages along the longest elevational gradient in the world. Botanical journal of the Linnean Society. 333-344.
  • Show author(s) 2019. Effects of weather and hunting on wild reindeer population dynamics in Hardangervidda National Park. Population Ecology.
  • Show author(s) 2018. Weighted average regression and environmental calibration as a tool for quantifying climate-driven changes in vegetation. Journal of Plant Ecology. 460-473.
  • Show author(s) 2018. Scale sensitivity of the relationship between alpha and gamma diversity along an alpine elevation gradient in central Nepal. Journal of Biogeography. 804-814.
  • Show author(s) 2018. Remote sensing of ?-diversity: Evidence from plant communities in a semi-natural system. Applied Vegetation Science.
  • Show author(s) 2018. Phylogenetic classification of the world's tropical forests. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 1837-1842.
  • Show author(s) 2018. Parapatric subspecies of Macaca assamensis show a marginal overlap in their predicted potential distribution: Some elaborations for modern conservation management. Ecology and Evolution. 9712-9727.
  • Show author(s) 2018. Downhill shift of alpine plant assemblages under contemporary climate and land-use changes. Ecosphere. 1-15.
  • Show author(s) 2017. Climatic variables determining Rhododendron sister taxa distri-butions and distributional overlaps in the Himalayas. Frontiers of Biogeography. 1-13.
  • Show author(s) 2017. An intercontinental comparison of niche conservatism along a temperature gradient. Journal of Biogeography. 1104-1113.
  • Show author(s) 2016. Water-energy dynamics, habitat heterogeneity, history, and broad-scale patterns of mammal diversity. Acta Oecologica. 176-186.
  • Show author(s) 2016. Topography-driven isolation, speciation and a global increase of endemism with elevation. Global Ecology and Biogeography. 1097-1107.
  • Show author(s) 2016. Land-use change under a warming climate facilitated upslope expansion of Himalayan silver fir (Abies spectabilis (D. Don) Spach). Plant Ecology. 993-1002.
  • Show author(s) 2016. Does tree canopy closure moderate the effect of climate warming on plant species composition of temperate Himalayan oak forest? Journal of Vegetation Science (JVS). 948-957.
  • Show author(s) 2016. Do composition and richness of woody plants vary between gaps and closed canopy patches in subtropical forests? Journal of Vegetation Science (JVS). 1129-1139.
  • Show author(s) 2016. Consumption patterns of fuelwood in rural households of Dolakha District, Nepal: reflections from community forest user groups. Small-scale Forestry. 16 pages.
  • Show author(s) 2015. Does agroforestry conserve trees? A comparison of tree species diversity between farmland and forest in mid-hills of central Himalaya. Biodiversity and Conservation. 2047-2061.
  • Show author(s) 2014. Pastoral abandonment, shrub proliferation and landscape changes: a case study from Gorkha, Nepal. Landscape Research. 53-69.
  • Show author(s) 2014. North Atlantic Islands with native and alien trees: are there differences in diversity and species-area relationships? Journal of Vegetation Science (JVS). 213-225.
  • Show author(s) 2014. Effects of topography and land use on woody plant species composition and beta diversity in an arid Trans-Himalayan landscape, Nepal. Journal of Mountain Science. 1112-1122.
  • Show author(s) 2014. Ecological consequences of land use change: Forest structure and regeneration across the forest-grassland ecotone in mountain pastures in Nepal. Journal of Mountain Science. 838-849.
  • Show author(s) 2014. Do vascular plants and bryophytes respond differently to coniferous invasion of coastal heathlands? Biological Invasions. 775-791.
  • Show author(s) 2013. Restoration potential of native forests after removal of Picea abies plantations. Forest Ecology and Management. 77-87.
  • Show author(s) 2013. Invasion of Calluna heath by native and non-native conifers: the role of succession, disturbance and allelopathy. Plant Ecology. 975-985.
  • Show author(s) 2013. Effects of invasion by introduced versus native conifers on coastal heathland vegetation. Journal of Vegetation Science (JVS). 744-754.
  • Show author(s) 2013. Effect of anthropogenic disturbance on plant species diversity in oak forest in Nepal, central Himalaya. International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services & Management. 9 pages.
  • Show author(s) 2013. Asessment of carbon balance in community forest in Dolakha, Nepal. Small-scale Forestry. 507-517.
  • Show author(s) 2012. Vegetation Changes in the Red Sea Hills: from mist oasis to arid shrub. Plant Ecology & Diversity. 527-539.
  • Show author(s) 2012. Land-cover changes during the past 50 years in the semi-arid tropical forest region of northern Peru. Erdkunde. 57-75.
  • Show author(s) 2012. A comparison of systematic versus stratified-random sampling design for gradient analyses: a case study in subalpine Himalaya, Nepal. Phytocoenologia. 191-202.
  • Show author(s) 2012. A comparison of systematic versus stratified-random sampling design for gradient analyses: a case study in subalpine Himalaya, Nepal. Phytocoenologia. 191-202.
  • Show author(s) 2011. Orchid species richness along Himalayan elevational gradients. Journal of Biogeography. 1821-1833.
  • Show author(s) 2010. Farming flexibility and food security under climatic uncertainty: Manang, Nepal Himalaya. Area (London 1969). 228-238.
  • Show author(s) 2009. The forest ecotone effect on species richness in an arid trans-Himalayan landscape of Nepal. Folia Geobotanica. 247-262.
  • Show author(s) 2009. Temporal changes in species diversity and composition in abandoned fields in a trans-Himalayan landscape, Nepal. Plant Ecology. 383-399.
  • Show author(s) 2009. Medicinal plants of Nepal: Distribution pattern along an elevational gradient and effectiveness of existing protected areas for their conservation. Banko Jankari. 16-22.
  • Show author(s) 2009. Coefficient shifts in geographical ecology: an empirical evaluation of spatial and non-spatial regression. Ecography. 193-204.
  • Show author(s) 2008. Patterns of woody plant species richness in the Iberian Peninsula: environmental range and spatial scale. Journal of Biogeography. 1863-1878.
  • Show author(s) 2007. Risk management by communal decision in trans-Himalayan farming: Manang valley in central Nepal. Human Ecology. 453-460.
  • Show author(s) 2007. Does Regulated Land Use Allow Regeneration of Keystone Forest Species in the Annapurna Conservation Area, Central Himalaya? Mountain Research and Development Journal. 345-351.
  • Show author(s) 2006. Establishment of Pinus wallichiana on a Himalayan Glacier Foreland: Stochastic Distribution or Safe Sites? Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine research. 584-592.
  • Show author(s) 2006. Can Rapoport's rule explain tree species richness along the Himalayan elevation gradient, Nepal? Diversity and Distributions: A journal of biological invasions and biodiversity. 373-378.
  • Show author(s) 2005. Pteridophyte richness, climate and topography in the Iberian Peninsula: comparing spatial and nonspatial models of richness patterns. Global Ecology and Biogeography. 155-165.
  • Show author(s) 2004. Relationship between plant species richness and biomass in an arid sub-alpine grassland of the Central Himalayas, Nepal. Folia Geobotanica. 57-71.
  • Show author(s) 2004. Fragile mountain - Fragile people? Understanding the fragility in the Himalayas. Mountain Research and Development Journal. 174-175.
  • Show author(s) 2004. Fern species richness along a central Himalayan elevational gradient, Nepal. Journal of Biogeography. 389-400.
  • Show author(s) 1997. The effect of canopy disturbance on species richness in a central Himalayan oak forest. Plant Ecology. 29-38.
  • Show author(s) 1997. Relationships between floristic gradients in a primary succession. Journal of Vegetation Science (JVS). 665-676.
  • Show author(s) 1996. En sammenligning av det biologiske og det antropologiske nisjebegrep, med utgangspunkt i Barths studier. Norsk Antropologisk Tidsskrift. 12-12.
  • Show author(s) 1996. En Sammenligning av det biologiske og det antropologiske nisje begrep, med utgangspunkt i Barths studier. Norsk Antropologisk Tidsskrift. 12.
  • Show author(s) 1994. The influence of Acacia tortilis stands on soilproperties in arid north-eastern Sudan. Acta Oecologica.
  • Show author(s) 1994. Primary succession of plant assemblages on a glacier foreland - Bødalsbreen, southern Norway. Journal of Biogeography. 297-308.
  • Show author(s) 1993. Spatial and temporal vegatation changes along a moisture gradient in north-eastern Sudan. Biotropica. 164-175.
  • Show author(s) 1993. Primary succession of plant assemblages on a glacier foreland - Dødalsbreen, Southern Norway. Journal of Biogeography.
  • Show author(s) 1993. Effect of spatial arrangement of environmental variables on ordination results from a disturbed humidity gradient in north-eastern Sudan. Coenoses. 27-37.
  • Show author(s) 1992. Micro-site effects of trees and shrubs in dry savanna. Journal of Vegetation Science (JVS). 337-344.
  • Show author(s) 1992. Micro-site Effects of Trees and Schrubs in Dry Savannas. Journal of Vegetation Science (JVS). 337-344.
  • Show author(s) 1992. Gradients in field-layer vegetation on an arid misty mountain plateau in the Sudan. Journal of Vegetation Science (JVS). 527-534.
  • Show author(s) 1992. Gradients in Field-Layer Vegetation on an Arid Misty Mountain Plateau in the Sudan. Journal of Vegetation Science (JVS). 257-534.
  • Show author(s) 1991. Micro- and Meso-Gradients in Field-Layer Vegetation on Arid Misty Mountain, Erkowit, North-Eastern Sudan. Journal of Vegetation Science (JVS).
  • Show author(s) 1990. Landscape Ecology in a European Tradition. PM. 54-55.
Report
  • Show author(s) 1994. Survival on Meagre Resources: Hadendowa pastoralism in the Red Sea Hills. Final report The Red Sea Area Programme. .
  • Show author(s) 1991. Changes in Abundance of Perennial Species in Erkowit, North Eastern Sudan. 16. 16. .
  • Show author(s) 1985. Den gotlandske reisen. 1987. Hovedfagsekskursjon, rapport.Under ledelse av prof. Olav Gjærevoll og Thyra Solem. B 205 Regional plantegeografi. .
Lecture
  • Show author(s) 2005. Population Structure and Regeneration Status of Dominant Tree Species in Trans-himalayan Region, Nepal.
  • Show author(s) 2005. Population Structure and Regeneration Status of Dominant Tree Species in Trans-himalayan Region, Nepal.
Academic lecture
  • Show author(s) 2007. Why are cultural landscapes rich in species and why do they have different conservation values in rich and poor countries?
  • Show author(s) 2005. Vetaas, O.R. Shrestha, K. B. & Panthi, M.P. 2005 Is gamma diversity able to predict variation in alpha diversity along an elevation range? IAVS symp. 2005 Lisboa.
  • Show author(s) 2005. Post Fire Natural Regeneration of Pinus wallichiana A.B. Jackson in Pisang, Manang, Nepal.
  • Show author(s) 2005. Globalisation processes in Himalayan mountain communities: more development than marginalisation.
Editorial
  • Show author(s) 2006. Biological relativity to water-energy dynamics: a potential unifying theory? Journal of Biogeography. 1866-1867.
Book review
  • Show author(s) 2017. Aune-Lundberg, Linda. 2016. Estimation Methods and Uncertainty in Area Frame Surveys of Land Cover. Thesis for the degree of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD). Series of dissertations submitted to the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Oslo No. 1780 Oslo: Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. 181 pp. ISSN 1501-7710. Norsk Geografisk Tidsskrift. 122-123.
Academic anthology/Conference proceedings
  • Show author(s) 2007. Local Effects of Global Changes in the Himalayas: Manang, Nepal. Tribhuvan University, Nepal and University of Bergen, Norway.
Non-fiction book
  • Show author(s) 2007. Local Effects of Global Changes in the Himalayas: Manang, Nepal. Tribhuvan University, Nepal and University of Bergen, Norway.
  • Show author(s) 1996. Survival on Meagre Resources: Hadendowa Pastoralism in the Red Sea Hills. Nordiska Afrikainstituttet, Uppsala.
  • Show author(s) 1996. "Survival on Meagre Resources". Nordiska Afrikainstituttet, Uppsala.
  • Show author(s) 1996. "Survival on Meagre Resources". Nordiska Afrikainstituttet, Uppsala.
Compendium
  • Show author(s) 1995. Survival on Meagre Resources - Hadendowa Pastoralism in the Red Sea Hills. Final Report on The Red Sea Programme.
Masters thesis
  • Show author(s) 2013. Regeneration of pine on the aeolian sand dunes in Starmoen nature reserve, south-east Norway.
  • Show author(s) 2013. Regeneration of Shorea robusta and Schima wallichii under Community Forest Management in Ludikhola watershed, Gorkha district, Nepal.
  • Show author(s) 2006. Species richness across the forest-line ecotone in an arid trans-Himalayan landscape of Nepal.
  • Show author(s) 2004. Succession and diversity in abandoned crop fields at high elevations in the Central Himalayas.
Popular scientific article
  • Show author(s) 2008. Kulturlandskap i nord og sør - betraktninger i rom. Naturen. 175-183.
  • Show author(s) 2008. Kulturlandskap i drastisk endring - betraktninger i tid. Naturen. 184-193.
  • Show author(s) 1998. Klimagrenser for Rhododendron i arboreter og Himalaya (Nepal). Årringen. 14-17.
  • Show author(s) 1992. Fraktaler - en ny måte å se naturen på. Naturen. 250-254.
  • Show author(s) 1991. Environmental Variability in the Sahel and its Constraints on Animal Husbandry. Forum for utviklingsstudier. 215-228.
Doctoral dissertation
  • Show author(s) 2019. Predicting decline of threatened species, invasiveness of alien species, and invasibility of seminatural habitats: A case study from threatened coastal heathlands and semi-natural grasslands in western Norway.
  • Show author(s) 2018. Spatiotemporal dynamics of plant assemblages under changing climate and land-use regimes in central Nepal Himalaya.
  • Show author(s) 2018. Spatial dynamics of species distributions in an anthropogenic landscape in the context of climate change.
  • Show author(s) 2016. The disturbance-diversity relationship: integrating biodiversity conservation and resource management in anthropogenic landscapes.
  • Show author(s) 1992. The interaction between biotic and abiotic factors controlling temporal and spatial dynamics of arid vegetation in Erkowit, north-eastern Sudan.
Interview
  • Show author(s) 2007. Amerikanske trær innvaderer Fløyen.
Academic chapter/article/Conference paper
  • Show author(s) 2007. Species compostion and regeneration of coniferous forest in Manang. 9 pages.
  • Show author(s) 2007. Species composition and regeneration of coniferous forest in Manang. 8 pages.
  • Show author(s) 2007. Globalisation and peoples' livelihood: Assessment and prediction for Manang, trans-himalayas, Nepal. 23 pages.
  • Show author(s) 2007. Global changes and its effect on glacier and culture landscapes: historical and future considerations. 17 pages.
  • Show author(s) 1997. Tautologier - et problem eller ikke-problem i biologiske vitenskaper? 6 pages.
  • Show author(s) 1996. Vegetation dynamics in the Red Sea Hills - Continuties and changes. 22 pages.
  • Show author(s) 1996. Vegetation Dynamics in the Red Sea Hills - Continuities and Changes.
  • Show author(s) 1996. The natural environment of the Red Sea Hills - lessons in variability. 22 pages.
  • Show author(s) 1996. The Natural Environment of the Red Sea Hills - Lessons in Variability.
Poster
  • Show author(s) 2017. Spatial ecology and summer grazing areas of wild reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) in Hardangervidda, Norway.
  • Show author(s) 2016. Hardangervidda National Park (HNP), Norway.
Academic literature review
  • Show author(s) 2019. Global endemics-area relationships of vascular plants. Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation (PECON). 41-49.

More information in national current research information system (CRIStin)

Vetaas, O.R., Shrestha, K.B.& Sharma, L.N. 2020. Changes in plant species richness after cessation of forest disturbance. Applied Vegetation Science, DOI: 10.1111/avsc.12545.

Vetaas, O.R., K.P. Paudel, & Christensen, M. 2019. Principal factors controlling biodiversity along an elevation gradient: water, energy and their interaction. Journal of Biogeography, 46: 1652-1663.  special issue -  von Humboldt anniversary.

Qian, H, Sandel, B., Deng, T & Vetaas, O.R. 2019, Geophysical, evolutionary and ecological processes interact to drive phylogenetic dispersion in angiosperm assemblages along the longest elevational gradient in the world, Botanical Journal of the Linnaean Society, 190, 333–344.

Vetaas, O.R., Grytnes, J.A., Bhatta, K & B.A. Hawkins 2018. An intercontinental comparison of niche conservatism along a temperature gradient. Journal of Biogeography, 45: 1104-1113.

Slik, JWF, Franklin, J…. Vetaas, O.R. et al. 2018.Phylogenetic classification of the world's tropical forests. PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. 115:1837-1842.

Steinbauer, M. J., Field, R., …Vetaas, O.R. & Beierkuhnlein, C. 2016. Topography-driven isolation, speciation and a globally consistent pattern of endemism. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 25: 1097-1107

Vetaas, O.R., Vikane, J.H., Saure, H. I  & Vandvik, V. 2014. North Atlantic islands with native and alien trees: are there differences in diversity and species─area relationships? Journal of Vegetation Science, 25: 213–225.

Vetaas OR & Ferrer-Castan D 2008. Patterns of woody plant species richness in the Iberian Peninsula: environmental range and spatial scale. Journal of Biogeography, 35:1863-1878.

Grytnes, J.A. & Vetaas, O.R. 2002. Species richness and altitude: a comparison between simulation models and interpolated plant species richness along the Himalayan gradient, Nepal. American Naturalist, 159: 294-204.

Vetaas, O.R. & Grytnes, J.A. 2002. Distribution of vascular plant species richness and endemic richness along the Himalayan elevation gradient in Nepal. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 11: 291-301.

 

University of Bergen (NO) Jawhal Nehru University (IN) / Joint Indo-Norwegian research and education on water-related changes in Himalaya / Coordinator / DIKU (.3 mill NOK)

Biodiversity: a function of water and thermodynamics.  project  awaiting  NRC-funding