Soil carbon stocks and their variability across the forests, shrublands and grasslands of peninsular Spain

Doblas-Miranda E., Rovira P., Brotons L., Martinez-Vilalta J., Retana J., Pla M., Vayreda J. (2013) Soil carbon stocks and their variability across the forests, shrublands and grasslands of peninsular Spain. Biogeosciences. 10: 8353-8361.
Enllaç
Doi: 10.5194/bg-10-8353-2013

Resum:

Accurate estimates of C stocks and fluxes of soil organic carbon (SOC) are needed to assess the impact of climate and land use change on soil C uptake and soil C emissions to the atmosphere. Here, we present an assessment of SOC stocks in forests, shrublands and grasslands of peninsular Spain based on field measurements in more than 900 soil profiles. SOC to a depth of 1 m was modelled as a function of vegetation cover, mean annual temperature, total annual precipitation, elevation and the interaction between temperature and elevation, while latitude and longitude were used to model the correlation structure of the errors. The resulting statistical model was used to estimate SOC in the ∼8 million pixels of the Spanish Forest Map (29.3 × 106 ha). We present what we believe is the most reliable estimation of current SOC in forests, shrublands and grasslands of peninsular Spain thus far, based on the use of spatial modelling, the high number of profiles and the validity and refinement of the data layers employed. Mean concentration of SOC was 8.7 kg m-2, ranging from 2.3 kg m-2 in dry Mediterranean areas to 20.4 kg m -2 in wetter northern locations. This value corresponds to a total stock of 2.544 Tg SOC, which is four times the amount of C estimated to be stored in the biomass of Spanish forests. Climate and vegetation cover were the main variables influencing SOC, with important ecological implications for peninsular Spanish ecosystems in the face of global change. The fact that SOC was positively related to annual precipitation and negatively related to mean annual temperature suggests that future climate change predictions of increased temperature and reduced precipitation may strongly reduce the potential of Spanish soils as C sinks. However, this may be mediated by changes in vegetation cover (e.g. by favouring the development of forests associated to higher SOC values) and exacerbated by perturbations such as fire. The estimations presented here provide a baseline to estimate future changes in soil C stocks and to assess their vulnerability to key global change drivers, and should inform future actions aimed at the conservation and management of C stocks. © 2013 Author(s).

Llegeix més

Land-cover change effects on trophic interactions: Current knowledge and future challenges in research and conservation

Herrera J.M., Doblas-Miranda E. (2013) Land-cover change effects on trophic interactions: Current knowledge and future challenges in research and conservation. Basic and Applied Ecology. 14: 1-11.
Enllaç
Doi: 10.1016/j.baae.2012.11.008

Resum:

Understanding the effects of land-cover alterations on ecosystem functioning has become a major challenge in ecological research during the last decade. This has stimulated a rapid growth in research investigating the links between land-cover change and biotic interactions, but to date no study has evaluated the progress towards achieving this scientific goal. With the aim of identifying gaps in current knowledge and challenging research areas for the future, we reviewed the scientific literature published during the last decade (1998-2010) investigating land-cover change effects on trophically-mediated biotic interactions. Our results reveal a disproportionate focus on particular trophic interactions and ecosystem types. Furthermore, in most cases, the measurement of trophic interactions is carried out neglecting the identity of the interacting species and the interrelation between the type of land-cover change effects. Finally, inappropriate temporal scales are applied to cope with spatiotemporal resource fluctuations for the interacting species. We suggest that the ongoing patterns and trends of research hamper efforts to achieve a truly comprehensive understanding of the effects of land-cover alterations on trophic interactions, and hence on ecosystem functioning in human-impacted landscapes. We therefore recommend alternative research trends and indicate gaps in current knowledge that need to be filled. Furthermore, we highlight that these biases could also limit the effectiveness of management actions aimed at ensuring the resilience and long-term conservation of natural habitats worldwide. © 2012 Gesellschaft für Ökologie.

Llegeix més