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  • Author: Dmitry Ganga x
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Olexander Zhukov, Olga Kunah, Yulia Dubinina, Dmitry Ganga and Galina Zadorozhnaya

Abstract

This article presents the features of the phylogenetic organization of the plant communities of the Dnieper River terrace within the ‘Dnieper-Orilskiy’ Nature Reserve and the patterns of its spatial variation involving remote sensing data of the Earth’s surface. The research materials were collected in the period 2012−2016 from within the nature reserve. The research polygon is within the first terrace (arena) of the Dnieper valley. Sandy steppe, meadow, forest and marsh communities within the Protoch river floodplain and the Orlova ravine, as well as artificial pine plantations were the habitats present within the research polygon. The vegetation description was carried out on 10×10 m (100 m2) plots. A total of 94 geobotanical descriptions were made. Data on plant phylogeny was obtained by the Phylomatic service. Phylogenetic diversity of the communities was assessed by the Faith, Simpson and Shannon indices. Phylogenetic analysis was performed by means of a double principal coordinate analysis (DPCoA). The vegetation cover within the investigated polygon was represented by 189 species. Abundance Phylogenetic Deviation (APD) for the investigated metacommunity was evaluated to −0.53, which is statistically significantly different from random alternatives (p = 0.001). The APD negative value indicates that phylogenetic organization of the investigated metacommunity is overdispersed. The permutation procedure allowed us to establish that the eigenvalues of the DPCoA-axes obtained as a result of the real phylogenetic tree were significantly higher than their own number for the random phylogenetic trees for the first seven axes. This indicates that the first seven axes are useful for additional information on the ordination structure of the metacommunity.