Estevan H., Lloret F., Vayreda J., Terradas J. (2007) Determinants of woody species richness in Scot pine and beech forests: climate, forest patch size and forest structure. Acta Oecologica. 31: 325-331.EnllaçDoi: 10.1016/j.actao.2007.01.003
We analysed patterns of woody species richness in Pinus sylvestris and Fagus sylvatica forests in Catalonia (NE Spain) from forestry inventory databank in relation to climate and landscape structure. Both types of forests are found within the same climatic range, although they have been managed following somewhat different goals. Overall, woody species richness significantly increased when conditions get closer to the Mediterranean ones, with milder temperatures. Differences between the two types of forests arose when comparing the relationship between richness and forest patch size. Woody species richness increased in pine forests with patch size, while the opposite trend was observed in beech forests. This pattern is explained by the different behaviour of structural canopy properties, since leaf area index and canopy cover showed a steeper increase with increasing forest patch size in Fagus forests than in Pinus ones. Accordingly, richness decreased with canopy cover in Fagus plots, but not in Pinus ones. We suggest that these differences would be related to management history, which may have enhanced the preservation of beech stands in larger forest landscape units. © 2007 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.
Lloret F., Lobo A., Estevan H., Maisongrande P., Vayreda J., Terradas J. (2007) Woody plant richness and NDVI response to drought events in Catalonian (northeastern Spain) forests. Ecology. 88: 2270-2279.EnllaçDoi: 10.1890/06-1195.1
The role of species diversity on ecosystem resistance in the face of strong environmental fluctuations has been addressed from both theoretical and experimental viewpoints to reveal a variety of positive and negative relationships. Here we explore empirically the relationship between the richness of forest woody species and canopy resistance to extreme drought episodes. We compare richness data from an extensive forest inventory to a temporal series of satellite imagery that estimated drought impact on forest canopy as NDVI (normalized difference vegetation index) anomalies of the dry summer in 2003 in relation to records of previous years. We considered five different types of forests that are representative of the main climatic and altitudinal gradients of the region, ranging from lowland Mediterranean to mountain boreal-temperate climates. The observed relationship differed among forest types and interacted with the climate, summarised by the Thorntwaite index. In Mediterranean Pinus halepensis forests, NDVI decreased during the drought. This decrease was stronger in forests with lower richness. In Mediterranean evergreen forests of Quercus ilex, drought did not result in an overall NDVI loss, but lower NDVI values were observed in drier localities with lower richness, and in more moist localities with higher number of species. In mountain Pinus sylvestris forests NDVI decreased, mostly due to the drought impact on drier localities, while no relation to species richness was observed. In moist Fagus sylvatica forests, NDVI only decreased in plots with high richness. No effect of drought was observed in the high mountain Pinus uncinata forests. Our results show that a shift on the diversity-stability relationship appears across the regional, climatic gradient. A positive relationship appears in drier localities, supporting a null model where the probability of finding a species able to cope with drier conditions increases with the number of species. However, in more moist localities we hypothesize that the proportion of drought-sensitive species would increase in richer localities, due to a higher likelihood of co-occurrence of species that share moist climatic requirements. The study points to the convenience of considering the causes of disturbance in relation to current environmental gradients and historical environmental constraints on the community. © 2007 by the Ecological Society of America.
Vilà M., Vayreda J., Comas L., Ibáñez J.J., Mata T., Obón B. (2007) Species richness and wood production: A positive association in Mediterranean forests. Ecology Letters. 10: 241-250.EnllaçDoi: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2007.01016.x
A major debate in the study of biodiversity concerns its influence on ecosystem functioning. We compared whether wood production in forests was associated with tree functional group identity (i.e. deciduous, conifer or sclerophylous), tree species richness (1-≥ 5) and tree functional group richness (1-3) by comparing more than 5000 permanent plots distributed across Catalonia (NE Spain). Deciduous forests were more productive than coniferous and sclerophylous forests. Wood production increased with tree species richness. However, functional group richness increased wood production only in sclerophylous forests. When other forest structure, environmental variables and management practices were included in the analysis, tree functional group identity and species richness still remained significant, while functional species richness did not. Our survey indicates that across a regional scale, and across a broad range of environmental conditions, a significant positive association exists between local tree species richness and wood production at least in typical early successional Mediterranean-type forests. © 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.
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