Rodríguez N., Armenteras D., Molowny-Horas R., Retana J. (2012) Patterns and trends of forest loss in the Colombian Guyana. Biotropica. 44: 123-132.EnllaçDoi: 10.1111/j.1744-7429.2011.00770.x
Spatial patterns of tropical deforestation and fragmentation are conditional upon human settlement characteristics. We analyze four different human occupation models (indigenous, colonist frontier, transition and established settlement) in the Colombian Guyana Shield at three different times: 1985, 1992 and 2002, and compared them for: (1) deforestation rates; (2) the amount of forest as classified according to a fragmentation pattern (interior forest, edge forest, perforated forest and forest patch); (3) various fragmentation metrics using repeated measures analysis of variance; and (4) potential future deforestation trends though the implementation of a spatially explicit simulation model. The indigenous and colonist frontier occupation models had low rates of deforestation (0.04%/yr), while the well-established settlement occupation model had the highest rate (3.68%/yr). Our results indicate that the four occupation models generate three deforestation patterns: diffuse, which can be subdivided into two subpatterns (indigenous and colonist), geometric (transition) and patchy (established settlement). The area with the established settlement model was highly fragmented, while in the transition occupation area, forest loss was gradual and linked to economic activities associated with the expansion of the agricultural frontier. The simulation of future trends revealed that indigenous and colonist areas had a constant, albeit small, loss of forest covers. The other models had a deforestation probability of 0.8 or more. Overall, our results highlight the need for new and urgent policies for reducing forest conversion that consider intraregional variability in human occupation linked to differences in land-use patterns. © 2011 The Author(s) Journal compilation © 2011 Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation.
Armenteras-Pascual D., Retana-Alumbreros J., Molowny-Horas R., Roman-Cuesta R.M., Gonzalez-Alonso F., Morales-Rivas M. (2011) Characterising fire spatial pattern interactions with climate and vegetation in Colombia. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology. 151: 279-289.EnllaçDoi: 10.1016/j.agrformet.2010.11.002
Vegetation burning in tropical countries is a threat to the environment, causing not only local ecological, economic and social impacts, but also large-scale implications for global change. The burning is usually a result of interacting factors, such as climate, land-use and vegetation type. Satellite-derived monthly time series datasets of rainfall, burned area and active fire detections between December 2000 and 2009 were used in this study. A map of vegetation types was also used to determine these factors' spatial and temporal variability and interactions with the total amount of burned area and active fires detected in Colombia. Grasslands represented the vegetation most affected by fires every year in terms of burned area (standardised by their total area), followed by secondary vegetation, pasture and forests. Grasslands were also most affected by active fires, but followed closely by pasture, agricultural areas, secondary vegetation and forests. The results indicated strong climate and fire seasonality and marked regional difference, partly explained by climatic differences amongst regions and vegetation types, especially in the Orinoco and Caribbean regions. The incidence of fire in the Amazon and Andes was less influenced by climate in terms of burned area impacted, but the strength of the ENSO phenomenon affected the Orinoco and the Andes more in terms of burned area. Many of the active fires detected occurred in areas of transition between the submontane and lowland Andes and the Amazon, where extensive conversion to pasture is occurring. The possible high impact of small fires on the tropical rainforest present in this transition area and the Amazonian rainforest deserves more attention in Colombia due to its previous lack of attention to its contribution to global change. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.
Rodríguez N, Armenteras D, Molowny-Horas R, Retana J (2011) Patterns and trends of forest loss in the Colombian Guyana. Biotropica doi: 10.1111/j.1744-7429.2011.00770.x.
Seco R., Peñuelas J., Filella I., Llusià J., Molowny-Horas R., Schallhart S., Metzger A., Müller M., Hansel A. (2011) Contrasting winter and summer VOC mixing ratios at a forest site in the Western Mediterranean Basin: The effect of local biogenic emissions. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. 11: 13161-13179.EnllaçDoi: 10.5194/acp-11-13161-2011
Atmospheric volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are involved in ozone and aerosol generation, thus having implications for air quality and climate. VOCs and their emissions by vegetation also have important ecological roles as they can protect plants from stresses and act as communication cues between plants and between plants and animals. In spite of these key environmental and biological roles, the reports on seasonal and daily VOC mixing ratios in the literature for Mediterranean natural environments are scarce. We conducted seasonal (winter and summer) measurements of VOC mixing ratios in an elevated (720 m a.s.l.) holm oak Mediterranean forest site near the metropolitan area of Barcelona (NE Iberian Peninsula). Methanol was the most abundant compound among all the VOCs measured in both seasons. While aromatic VOCs showed almost no seasonal variability, short-chain oxygenated VOCs presented higher mixing ratios in summer, presumably due to greater emission by vegetation and increased photochemistry, both enhanced by the high temperatures and solar radiation in summer. Isoprenoid VOCs showed the biggest seasonal change in mixing ratios: they increased by one order of magnitude in summer, as a result of the vegetation's greater physiological activity and emission rates. The maximum diurnal concentrations of ozone increased in summer too, most likely due to more intense photochemical activity and the higher levels of VOCs in the air. The daily variation of VOC mixing ratios was mainly governed by the wind regime of the mountain, as the majority of the VOC species analyzed followed a very similar diel cycle. Mountain and sea breezes that develop after sunrise advect polluted air masses to the mountain. These polluted air masses had previously passed over the urban and industrial areas surrounding the Barcelona metropolitan area, where they were enriched in NO x and in VOCs of biotic and abiotic origin. Moreover, these polluted air masses receive additional biogenic VOCs emitted in the local valley by the vegetation, thus enhancing O 3 formation in this forested site. The only VOC species that showed a somewhat different daily pattern were monoterpenes because of their local biogenic emission. Isoprene also followed in part the daily pattern of monoterpenes, but only in summer when its biotic sources were stronger. The increase by one order of magnitude in the concentrations of these volatile isoprenoids highlights the importance of local biogenic summer emissions in these Mediterranean forested areas which also receive polluted air masses from nearby or distant anthropic sources. © 2011 Author(s).
Arnan X., Rodrigo A., Molowny-Horas R., Retana J. (2010) Ant-mediated expansion of an obligate seeder species during the first years after fire. Plant Biology. 12: 842-852.EnllaçDoi: 10.1111/j.1438-8677.2009.00294.x
Most obligate seeder species build up a soil seed bank that is associated with massive seed germination in the year immediately after a fire. These species are also shade-intolerant and disappear when vegetation cover closes, creating unsuitable conditions for seedling recruitment. The only way for these plants to expand their populations is when habitats suitable for seedling recruitment arise (i.e. in years immediately after a fire). However, short primary seed dispersal of obligate seeders does not allow these plants to colonise the suitable habitats, and these habitats can only be colonised by secondary seed dispersion. We hypothesised that Fumana ericoides, an obligate-seeding small shrub, not only establishes abundantly in the first year after fire, but also expands its local range in the following years due to secondary dispersal by ants while suitable habitats are still available. We tested this hypothesis using experimental studies and a simulation model of potential population expansion in a recently burned area. Results showed that F. ericoides not only established prolifically in the year immediately after fire, but was also able to recruit new individuals and expand its population in the years following the fire, despite a low germination rate and short primary seed dispersal. Ant-mediated seed dispersal and availability of suitable habitats were key factors in this phenomenon: ants redistributed seeds in suitable habitats while they were available, which accelerated the expansion of F. ericoides because new plants established far away from the core population. © 2009 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.
Avila A., Molowny-Horas R., Gimeno B.S., Peñuelas J. (2010) Analysis of decadal time series in wet N concentrations at five rural sites in NE Spain. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution. 207: 123-138.EnllaçDoi: 10.1007/s11270-009-0124-7
Nitrogen emissions have grown in Spain during the last 15 years. As precipitation scavenges gases and aerosols from the atmosphere, an effect on rainwater concentrations can be expected. However, time-series studies on wet N concentrations in the Iberian Peninsula are very scarce. This paper aims to fill this gap by analysing weekly rainfall N concentrations at a set of rural sites in Catalonia (NE Spain) from 1995/1996 to 2007 and a forest site monitored from 1983 to 2007. The sites encompass a range of rural environments and climate conditions, from the inland pre-Pyrenees (Sort) to the Mediterranean coast (Begur) and from north (Sort and Begur) to central (Palautordera and La Castanya) and south Catalonia (La Senia). We found a 1-year cycle for concentrations of NH 4 + and NO 3 - whereby higher values were reached at the end of spring-early summer, except at the easternmost coastal site of Begur. Weekly NH 4 + concentrations decreased with time at all sites (except at La Senia) whilst NO 3 - concentrations increased at all sites during the same period. Rainfall SO 4 2- concentrations decreased with time at all sites. The opposite trends in NO 3 - and SO 4 2- concentrations determined a shift in the relative acid contribution of those anions during the 12-13-year period. To interpret the increasing trend, mean annual NO 3 - concentrations were regressed against NO 2 Spanish emissions and to some indicators of local anthropogenic activity. The increase at Sort and Palautordera showed good correlation with local anthropogenic indicators. Wet inorganic N deposition ranged between 4.2 and 6.7 kg ha -1 year -1. When including estimates of dry deposition, total annual deposition rose up to 10-20 kg ha -1 year -1, values that have been found to initiate adverse effects on Mediterranean-type forest ecosystems. © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Sgolastra F., Bosch J., Molowny-Horas R., Maini S., Kemp W.P. (2010) Effect of temperature regime on diapause intensity in an adult-wintering Hymenopteran with obligate diapause. Journal of Insect Physiology. 56: 185-194.EnllaçDoi: 10.1016/j.jinsphys.2009.10.001
Osmia lignaria is a solitary bee that over-winters as a fully eclosed, cocooned, unfed adult. Our objective is to understand the effect of wintering temperature on diapause maintenance and termination in this species. We measure respiration rates and weight loss in individuals exposed to various wintering temperatures (0, 4, 7, 22 °C, outdoors) and durations (28, 84, 140, 196, 252 days). We use time to emerge and respiration response (respiration rate measured at 22 °C) as indicators of diapause intensity. Adults spontaneously lower their respiration rates to ∼0.1 ml/g h within 1 month after adult eclosion, indicating obligatory diapause. Non-wintered individuals maintain low respiration rates, but lose weight rapidly and die by mid-winter. In wintered adults, two phases can be distinguished. First, respiration response undergoes a rapid increase and then reaches a plateau. This phase is similar in bees wintered at 0, 4 and 7 °C. In the second phase, respiration response undergoes an exponential increase, which is more pronounced at the warmer temperatures. Composite exponential functions provide a good fit to the observed respiration patterns. Adults whose respiration response has reached 0.45 ml/g h emerge promptly when exposed to 20 °C, indicating diapause completion. Individuals wintered for short periods do not reach such respiration levels. When exposed to 20 °C these individuals lower their metabolic rate, and their emergence time is extended. The relationship between respiration rates and emergence time follows a negative exponential function. We propose two alternative models of diapause termination to interpret these results. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd.
Arnan X, Gràcia M, Molowny Horas R, Ordoñez JL, Retana J et al. (2010) Les pinedes de pi blanc. En: Manuals de gestió d’hàbitats. Diputació de Barcelona.
Espelta J.M., Cortés P., Molowny-Horas R., Retana J. (2009) Acorn crop size and pre-dispersal predation determine inter-specific differences in the recruitment of co-occurring oaks. Oecologia. 161: 559-568.EnllaçDoi: 10.1007/s00442-009-1394-x
The contribution of pre-dispersal seed predation to inter-specific differences in recruitment remains elusive. In species with no resistance mechanisms, differences in pre-dispersal predation may arise from differences in seed abundance (plant satiation) or in the ability of seeds to survive insect infestation (seed satiation). This study aimed to analyse the impact of pre-dispersal acorn predation by weevils in two co-occurring Mediterranean oaks (Quercus ilex and Quercus humilis) and to compare its relevance with other processes involved in recruitment. We monitored the patterns of acorn production and acorn infestation by weevils and we conducted experimental tests of acorn germination after weevil infestation, post-dispersal predation and seedling establishment in mixed forests. Monitoring and experimental data were integrated in a simulation model to test for the effects of pre-dispersal predation in recruitment. In both oaks pre-dispersal acorn infestation decreased with increasing acorn crop size (plant satiation). This benefited Q. ilex which exhibited stronger masting behaviour than Q. humilis, with almost a single and outstanding reproductive event in 6 years. Acorn infestation was more than twice as high in Q. humilis (47.0%) as in Q. ilex (20.0%) irrespective of the number of seeds produced by each species. Although germination of infested acorns (seed satiation) was higher in Q. humilis (60%) than in Q. ilex (21%), this could barely mitigate the higher infestation rate in the former species, to reduce seed loss. Conversely to pre-dispersal predation, no inter-specific differences were observed either in post-dispersal predation or seedling establishment. Our results indicate that pre-dispersal predation may contribute to differences in seed supply, and ultimately in recruitment, between co-existing oaks. Moreover, they suggest that seed satiation can barely offset differences in seed infestation rates. This serves as a warning against overemphasising seed satiation as a mechanism to overcome seed predation by insects. © Springer-Verlag 2009.
Espelta JM, Gracia M, Molowny R, Ordoñez JL, Retana J, Vayreda J et al (2009) Els alzinars Manuals de gestió d’hàbitats. Diputació de Barcelona. Barcelona. 181 pp.
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