Thesis defence in the University of Oulu

Doctoral Candidate

Master of Science Helena Tukiainen

Faculty and research unit

University of Oulu Graduate School, Faculty of Science, Geography Research Unit

Field of study


Date and time of the thesis defence

3.5.2019 12:00

Place of the thesis defence

Linnanmaa, lecture hall TA105

Topic of the dissertation

Multi-scale relationship between geodiversity and biodiversity across high-latitude environments: implications for nature conservation


Professor Ole Reidar Vetaas, University of Bergen, Norway


Professor Jan Hjort, University of Oulu

Geodiversity increases biodiversity

The results of this doctoral thesis point out the positive relationship between geodiversity (i.e. the abiotic richness of Earth surface) and biodiversity (i.e. the biological diversity). Geodiversity can be more precisely defined as the diversity of rock, soil, hydrological features and landforms. Geodiversity is the basis on which biodiversity is built on and it is more stable than biodiversity in changing environmental conditions. This is why it is highly important and topical to study their relationship as the climate change intensifies.

In this doctoral thesis, the geodiversity-biodiversity relationship was examined with multi-taxon species richness data, geodiversity variables derived from geographic information systems and with other environmental variables such as climatic data. The data was analyzed with modern statistical methods.

According to the results of this thesis, higher geodiversity, such as the diversity of rock or soil types in an area, creates different ecological niches and thus promotes species diversity of e.g. vascular plants. In addition, different landforms, such as kettle holes, aapamires and river shores support higher vascular plant species diversity than areas without landforms.

The results of this thesis encourage the use of geodiversity information in land-use and nature conservation planning. Geodiversity has conservation value itself, but it could also be utilized in biodiversity conservation.

Last updated: 17.4.2019