Rodrigo A (2007) Incendis forestals: com es recupera la vida animal? UAB Divulga 02:2007 (http://www.uab.es/uabdivulga).
Arnan X., Rodrigo A., Retana J. (2007) Uncoupling the effects of shade and food resources of vegetation on Mediterranean ants: An experimental approach at the community level. Ecography. 30: 161-172.LinkDoi: 10.1111/j.2006.0906-7590.04796.x
Vegetation is one of the main factors affecting the composition and structure of ant communities. The effect of vegetation is both by offering food resources and by modifying the proportion of ground cover exposed to shade conditions. However, it is difficult in field studies to uncouple the effects of food resources and shade on animal communities. The goal of this study was to analyze experimentally the effects of vegetation through food and shade supply on the structure and composition of a Mediterranean ant community. We have crossed these two factors in a factorial design where we have eliminated vegetation in experimental treatments and we have simulated the effects of vegetation by manipulating separately the supply of food resources and shade. The expected decrease in ant abundance and richness in plots without food resources but with shade was only partially confirmed by the results, because there was a decrease in the number of ant species but not a significant decrease in overall ant abundance in plots without food resources. We did not confirm the second hypothesis that the decrease in shade while maintaining food resources resulted in an increase of heat-tolerant, subordinate species and, consequently, ant richness. Species composition differed in the different experimental treatments. Stress-tolerant species were abundant in areas without shade and without food resources. Heat-tolerant species were mainly present in plots without shade but with food resources. Finally, species with high requirements of shade and/or food resources were associated to control plots with both shade and food resources from vegetation. Overall, this study provides an experiment that uncouples experimentally shade and food resources and dissects their effects on the whole ant community, and shows that the effects of the two factors are independent and affect different components of ant community structure and composition. Copyright © Ecography 2007.
Arnan X., Rodrigo A., Retana J. (2007) Post-fire regeneration of Mediterranean plant communities at a regional scale is dependent on vegetation type and dryness. Journal of Vegetation Science. 18: 111-122.LinkDoi: 10.1658/1100-9233(2007)18[111:PROMPC]2.0.CO;2
Question: We tested whether (1) the change in composition and structure of whole plant communities after fire is directly related to regeneration of the dominant tree species in the canopy; (2) the change in structure and composition of plant communities several years after fire decreases with the proportion of obligate seeders and (3) the proportion of obligate seeders in plant communities increases with the dryness gradient. Location: Catalonia (NE Spain). Methods: We measured floristic differences between burned and long-since burned sites in eight vegetation types across a climate gradient. We compared 22 sites burnt in 1994 in paired plots with 22 sites that had not been burnt since the 1940s. In each site we placed plots in burned and long-since burned areas, where we identified the presence and abundance of all plant species. Results: When the tree canopy recovers, structure and composition of the vegetation also return to the long-since burned community; when tree canopy does not recover, composition of the post-fire community varies compared to the long-since burned one. A higher proportion of obligate seeders in the pre-fire community promotes quicker regeneration of the original community. The proportion of obligate seeders increased along the dryness gradient. Conclusions: Regeneration of plant communities after fire depends on the vegetation type before the fire. Regeneration increases when the dominant tree or shrub species persists after fire and with a higher proportion of obligate seeders in the pre-fire community. The proportion of obligate seeders varies along the dryness gradient, which suggests that vegetation in drier areas (when seeders are more abundant) recovers earlier than in moister areas. © IAVS; Opulus Press.
Quevedo L., Rodrigo A., Espelta J.M. (2007) Post-fire resprouting ability of 15 non-dominant shrub and tree species in Mediterranean areas of NE Spain. Annals of Forest Science. 64: 883-890.LinkDoi: 10.1051/forest:2007070
Post-fire resprouting ability of the non-dominant tree and shrub species of the Mediterranean Basin has not yet been experimentally tested, although this group contributes to maintain the richness of Mediterranean plant communities. In this study, we have analyzed the post-fire recovery ability of 15 woody species that occur in relatively low abundance in dry and sub humid Mediterranean areas in NE of Spain. The main goals have been: (i) to determine experimentally the post-fire resprouting ability of these species and (ii) to compare the abundance of these species in areas affected by wildland fires and in unburned areas. We have observed a high resprouting ability after prescribed burning of most species except for Juniperus communis and J. phoenicea which showed a null resprouting. As the species with high resprouting ability showed similar presence in burned and unburned areas, we can conclude that wildfires are not a factor that constrains the presence of these species in Mediterranean woodlands. However, we found a reduction in the abundance of J. communis and J. phoenicea at the regional level after wildland fires. © INRA, EDP Sciences, 2007.
Rodrigo A., Quintana V., Retana J. (2007) Fire reduces Pinus pinea distribution in the northeastern Iberian Peninsula. Ecoscience. 14: 23-30.LinkDoi: 10.2980/1195-6860(2007)14[23:FRPPDI]2.0.CO;2
This study analyzes the recovery of Pinus pinea in forested areas that have burned in the last 30 years. The main objectives of the study were (i) to analyze the success of the regeneration of P. pinea in areas with the presence or absence of surviving adult trees and (ii) to investigate whether or not the post-fire response of P. pinea may affect its present distribution. We analyzed the survival of adult P. pinea trees and the regeneration of P. pinea seedlings in 8 areas burned by wildfires in Catalonia (northeast Spain) between 1979 and 2001. This study shows that the inability of seedlings to establish after fire, together with the short seed dispersal distance of this species and the low level of seedling survival, renders the natural regeneration of P. pinea in burned areas difficult. A comparison of the presence of P. pinea in plots located in burned and unburned areas throughout its distribution area in Catalonia indicates that its presence at the regional level is clearly reduced after fire. Moreover, in the areas where it persists, tree density and cover are smaller than in unburned areas. This decrease of P. pinea forests is exacerbated by the increase in surface area burned by forest fires during recent decades in the Mediterranean basin and by decreasing profits associated with this species as a consequence of the falling value of its pine kernel.
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