Spatial patterns of land use changes across a mediterranean metropolitan landscape: Implications for biodiversity management

Basnou C., Alvarez E., Bagaria G., Guardiola M., Isern R., Vicente P., Pino J. (2013) Spatial patterns of land use changes across a mediterranean metropolitan landscape: Implications for biodiversity management. Environmental Management. 52: 971-980.
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Doi: 10.1007/s00267-013-0150-5

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Land use and land cover change (LUCC) is an acknowledged cause of the current biodiversity crisis, but the link between LUCC and biodiversity conservation remains largely unknown at the regional scale, especially due to the traditional lack of consistent biodiversity data. We provide a methodological approach for assessing this link through defining a set of major pressures on biodiversity from LUCC and evaluating their extent, distribution, and association with a set of physical factors. The study was performed in the Metropolitan Region of Barcelona (MRB, NE of Spain) between 1956 and 2000. We generated a LUCC map for the time period, which was reclassified into a set of pressures on biodiversity (forestation, deforestation, crop abandonment, and urbanization). We then explored the association of these pressures with a set of physical factors using redundancy analysis (RDA). Pressures encompassed 38.8 % of the MRB area. Urbanization and forestation were the dominating pressures, followed by crop abandonment and deforestation. RDA showed a significant distribution gradient of these pressures in relation to the studied physical factors: while forestation and deforestation are concentrated in remote mountain areas, urbanization mainly occurs in lowlands and especially on the coast, and close to previous urban centers and roads. Unchanged areas are concentrated in rainy and relatively remote mountain areas. Results also showed a dramatic loss of open habitats and of the traditional land use gradient, both featuring Mediterranean landscapes and extremely important for their biodiversity conservation. Implications of these results for biodiversity management are finally discussed. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Llegeix més

Plant communities partially reflect environmental gradients in humanized landscapes: A case study in the Llobregat delta marshes

Batriu E., Ninot J.M., Rovira P., Pino J. (2013) Plant communities partially reflect environmental gradients in humanized landscapes: A case study in the Llobregat delta marshes. Phytocoenologia. 43: 183-191.
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Doi: 10.1127/0340-269X/2013/0043-0550

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This study took place in a vegetation mosaic of the Llobregat delta (near Barcelona, Spain), which includes both natural and spontaneously restored coastal marshes. We used a dataset comprising vegetation relevés, soil parameters and water table conditions, and explored their correlation. More precisely, we classifi ed the relevés into three phytosociological alliances (namely Phragmition communis, Salicornion fruticosae and Juncion maritimi) combining the previous information available and the use of PCA ordinations. We studied whether these alliances refl ect the main operating environmental gradients (conductivity, sodium absorption rate and water table dynamics) using a GLMM (generalized linear mixed model). The PCA refl ected a fair distinctiveness of Salicornion and Phragmition, whereas Juncion was a more heterogeneous unit, related to the varying dominance of different plant species. The three alliances exhibited signifi cant differences in environmental variables and therefore the phytosociological ordination refl ected at least partially the main operating environmental gradients. However the assemblage of alliances over the gradients varied between locations, suggesting that the initial species pool or plant dispersal capacity to some extent shapes the dynamics of spontaneous restoration in these marshlands. © 2013 Gebrüder Borntraeger.

Llegeix més

Quantifying the landscape influence on plant invasions in Mediterranean coastal habitats

González-Moreno P., Pino J., Carreras D., Basnou C., Fernández-Rebollar I., Vilà M. (2013) Quantifying the landscape influence on plant invasions in Mediterranean coastal habitats. Landscape Ecology. 28: 891-903.
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Doi: 10.1007/s10980-013-9857-1

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Landscape pattern might be an important determinant of non-native plant invasions because it encompasses components influencing the availability of non-native plant propagules and disturbance regimes. We aimed at exploring the relative role of patch and landscape characteristics, compared to those of habitat type and regional human influence on non-native plant species richness. For this purpose, we identified all non-native plant species in 295 patches of four coastal habitat types across three administrative regions in NE Spain differing in the degree of human influence. For each patch, we calculated several variables reflecting habitat patch geometry (size and shape), landscape composition (distribution of land-cover categories) and landscape configuration (arrangement of patches). The last two groups of variables were calculated at five different spatial extents. Landscape composition was by far the most important group of variables associated with non-native species richness. Natural areas close to diverse and urban landscapes had a high number of non-native species while surrounding agricultural areas could buffer this effect. Regional human influence was also strongly associated with non-native species richness while habitat type was the least important factor. Differences in sensitivity of landscape variables across spatial extents proved relevant, with 100 m being the most influential extent for most variables. These results suggest that landscape characteristics should be considered for performing explicit spatial risk analyses of plant invasions. Consequently, the management of invaded habitats should focus not only at the stand scale but also at the highly influential neighbouring landscape. Prior to incorporate landscape characteristics into management decisions, sensitivity analyses should be taken into account to avoid inconsistent variables. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Llegeix més

Landscape context modulates alien plant invasion in Mediterranean forest edges

González-Moreno P., Pino J., Gassó N., Vilà M. (2013) Landscape context modulates alien plant invasion in Mediterranean forest edges. Biological Invasions. 15: 547-557.
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Doi: 10.1007/s10530-012-0306-x

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Natural habitats in human-altered landscapes are especially vulnerable to biological invasions, especially in their edges. We aim to understand the influence of landscape and local characteristics on biological invasions by exploring the level of plant invasion and alien species traits in forest edges in highly urbanized landscapes. We identified all plant species in 73 paired plots in the edge and 50 m towards the interior of the forest. We explored the association between alien species richness and similarity in species composition between edge and interior plots with landscape and local variables, using generalized linear models and variance partitioning techniques. Then, we performed Fourth-corner analyses to explore the association between alien plant traits and local and landscape variables. In contrast to native species richness, alien species richness was more affected by the surrounding landscape than by the local characteristics of the edge. Road proximity was positively associated with alien species richness and proportion and was its most important correlate, whereas disturbance was negatively associated with native species richness and was its most influential factor. Alien plant traits were also primarily associated with landscape characteristics. For instance, species of Mediterranean origin and introduced for agriculture were associated with higher agriculture use in the landscape. Our findings suggest that risk analyses of habitat vulnerability to invasion must consider the landscape context in order to successfully predict highly invaded areas and identify potentially successful invaders. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Llegeix més

Patch history and spatial scale modulate local plant extinction and extinction debt in habitat patches

Guardiola M., Pino J., Roda F. (2013) Patch history and spatial scale modulate local plant extinction and extinction debt in habitat patches. Diversity and Distributions. 19: 825-833.
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Doi: 10.1111/ddi.12045

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Aim: Many species exhibit a time-lag between habitat loss and its extinction, resulting in extinction debt. Although extinction debt is considered a widespread phenomenon, differences in methodological approaches can affect its detection. We aim to contribute to this methodological debate by exploring whether extinction debt is either a phenomenon common to all patches or idiosyncratic to the patch and landscape attributes of a given patch. We also aim to determine whether the scale dependency of species richness might help to explain extinction debt. Location: Southern Catalonia (NE Iberian Peninsula). Methods: We studied the effects of habitat loss on plant species richness (total, specialists and generalists) in stable (habitat loss

Llegeix més

Determinants of tree species turnover in a southern Amazonian rain forest

Guèze M., Paneque-Gálvez J., Luz A.C., Pino J., Orta-Martínez M., Reyes-García V., Macía M.J. (2013) Determinants of tree species turnover in a southern Amazonian rain forest. Journal of Vegetation Science. 24: 284-295.
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Doi: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01461.x

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Questions: What is the relative importance of environmental variables and geographical distances to explain tree species turnover? Are these patterns consistent for different tree categories, i.e. all trees (DBH ≥ 2.5 cm), large trees (DBH ≥ 10 cm), small trees sensu lato (DBH 

Llegeix més

Using species distribution modelling to disentangle realised versus potential distributions for rare species conservation

Marcer A., Saez L., Molowny-Horas R., Pons X., Pino J. (2013) Using species distribution modelling to disentangle realised versus potential distributions for rare species conservation. Biological Conservation. 166: 221-230.
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Doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2013.07.001

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Range maps provide important information in species conservation management, specially in the case of rare species of conservation interest. For the vast majority of cases, this information can only be estimated by means of species distribution modelling. When absence data is unavailable, modelled distribution maps represent the spatial variation of the degree of suitability for the species rather than their realised distribution. Although discerning potentially suitable areas for a given species is an important asset in conservation, it is necessary to estimate current distributions in order to preserve current populations. This work explores the use of species distribution modelling (Maxent) for species of conservation interest when their Extent of Occurrence (EOO) is well-known and there is quality occurrence data. In this case, derived binary maps of potentially suitable areas can be obtained and used to assess the conservation and protection status of a given species in combination with the EOO and existing protected area networks. Seven species, which are rare and endemic to the Western Mediterranean, have been used as an example. Valuable information for conservation assessment such as potentially suitable areas, EOO, Areas of Occupancy (AOO) and degree of protection is provided for this set of species. In addition, the existing informal view that among experts these species have range sizes much smaller than their potentially suitable area is confirmed. This could probably be attributed to important but currently unknown predictor variables and to historical phylogeographic factors. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Llegeix més

Land tenure and forest cover change. The case of southwestern Beni, Bolivian Amazon, 1986-2009

Paneque-Galvez J., Mas J.-F., Gueze M., Luz A.C., Macia M.J., Orta-Martinez M., Pino J., Reyes-Garcia V. (2013) Land tenure and forest cover change. The case of southwestern Beni, Bolivian Amazon, 1986-2009. Applied Geography. 43: 113-126.
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Doi: 10.1016/j.apgeog.2013.06.005

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As land use change continues to increase throughout the Amazon basin, there is a pressing need to accurately map, quantify and assess the effects of different factors on forest cover change (FCC). Land tenure may sometimes have important effects on forest cover, yet such effects remain poorly understood in Amazonia, particularly outside Brazil. In this paper we assess whether significant differences in trends of FCC can be partially explained by different land tenure arrangements, using a case study in southwestern Beni (Bolivian Amazon). We examine spatio-temporal dynamics of FCC across four land tenure systems (indigenous titled territory, protected area, logging concession, and private land) by classifying forests using a time-series of Landsat satellite imagery consisting of four dates (1986, 1996, 2001, 2009). Specifically, we unravel (1) trends in early growth and old-growth forest extent, including changes in total cover area, annual change rates, and spatial change dynamics, and (2) trends in old-growth forest fragmentation. To better understand the association between land tenure and FCC, we qualitatively assess the potential role that other underlying and proximate drivers may have had in FCC over the study period. We found that private lands underwent, by far, the largest FCC, that indigenous territories and the protected area had little FCC, and that logging concessions were responsible for the lowest FCC. Our findings suggest that land tenure played a key role in FCC except in private areas, where many other drivers had operated. Our study sheds light into the potential role of land tenure in FCC and has important implications for public policies aimed at socioeconomic development and environmental conservation in the Amazon. We give some policy recommendations drawn from a biocultural conservation perspective that could contribute to implement more inclusive conservation policies in the region. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Llegeix més

Post-fire invasion and subsequent extinction of Conyza spp. in Mediterranean forests is mostly explained by local factors

Pino J., Arnan X., Rodrigo A., Retana J. (2013) Post-fire invasion and subsequent extinction of Conyza spp. in Mediterranean forests is mostly explained by local factors. Weed Research. 53: 470-478.
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Doi: 10.1111/wre.12040

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This work explored the invasion patterns of Conyza species in Mediterranean pine forests after fire and identified their main correlates through a temporal study approach. We hypothesised that wildfires might favour Conyza spp. invasion in these forests, but only transiently and depending on fire regime. We recorded Conyza spp. invasion and subsequent extinction in plots from species' occurrence and cover in vegetation surveys. We also explored the association of Conyza spp. presence and cover with a set of climatic, landscape and local (plot) factors using GLZ and GLM. We assessed changes in significant factors over time with a Wilcoxon test for paired samples. Evidence for Conyza spp. establishment was found in two-thirds of the study plots, with an invasion peak 2 years after fire. Local factors related to resource availability, including high fire severity, low soil stoniness and total vegetation cover and high herbaceous cover, were significantly correlated with Conyza occurrence in plots at the invasion peak. However, Conyza cover was always low (≤6%) and populations did not persist more than several years, thus becoming rarer as plant cover increased. Landscape and climatic factors showed no association with Conyza occurrence. In conclusion, wildfires favour transient invasion of European Mediterranean pine forests by Conyza spp. Invasion is mostly enhanced by local fire severity and constrained by subsequent vegetation recovery, while it is poorly explained by climate and landscape, either current or historical. © 2013 European Weed Research Society.

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Evidence of traditional knowledge loss among a contemporary indigenous society

Reyes-Garcia V., Gueze M., Luz A.C., Paneque-Galvez J., Macia M.J., Orta-Martinez M., Pino J., Rubio-Campillo X. (2013) Evidence of traditional knowledge loss among a contemporary indigenous society. Evolution and Human Behavior. 34: 249-257.
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Doi: 10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2013.03.002

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As biological and linguistic diversity, the world's cultural diversity is on decline. However, to date there are no estimates of the rate at which the specific cultural traits of a group disappear, mainly because we lack empirical data to assess how the cultural traits of a given population change over time. Here we estimate changes in cultural traits associated to the traditional knowledge of wild plant uses among an Amazonian indigenous society. We collected data among 1151 Tsimane' Amerindians at two periods of time. Results show that between 2000 and 2009, Tsimane' adults experienced a net decrease in the report of plant uses ranging from 9% (for the female subsample) to 26% (for the subsample of people living close to towns), equivalent to 1% to 3% per year. Results from a Monte Carlo simulation show that the observed changes were not the result of randomness. Changes were more acute for men than for women and for informants living in villages close to market towns than for informants settled in remote villages. The Tsimane' could be abandoning their traditional knowledge as they perceive that this form of knowledge does not equip them well to deal with the new socio-economic and cultural conditions they face nowadays. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

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