Martínez-Vilalta J, Aguadé D, Banqué M, Barba J, Curiel Yuste J, Galiano L, Garcia N, Gómez M, Heres; AM, López BC, Lloret F, Poyatos R, Retana J, Sus O, Vayreda J, Vilà-Cabrera A (2012) Las poblaciones ibéricas de pino albar ante el cambio climático: con la muerte en los talones. Ecosistemas 21: 15-21.
Martínez-Vilalta J, Aguadé D, Banqué M, Barba J, Yuste JC, Galiano L, Garcia N, Gómez M, Hereş AM, López BC, Lloret F, Poyatos R, Retana J, Sus O, Vayreda J, Vilà-Cabrera A (2012) Las poblaciones ibéricas de pino albar ante el cambio climático: con la muerte en los talones. Revista Ecosistemas 21: 15–21.
Rodrigo A., Arnan X., Retana J. (2012) Relevance of soil seed bank and seed rain to immediate seed supply after a large wildfire. International Journal of Wildland Fire. 21: 449-458.LinkDoi: 10.1071/WF11058
We examined the density and composition of the immediate seed supply (i.e. instant potential post-fire germination from soil seed bank and off-site seed rain) after a large wildfire in a sub-Mediterranean pine forest. We also tested the effects of fire severity and distance from unburned edges on the density and composition of the seed bank and the immediate off-site seed rain. Our results showed that although seed density did not differ between them, their composition was markedly different. The soil seed bank was dominated by species from the Fabaceae family with limited dispersal mechanisms such as autochory and barochory, whereas the seed rain was mainly composed of species from the Asteraceae family with wind-dispersed seeds. These patterns were not affected either by fire severity or distance from the fire edge. The main conclusion of the study is that both the soil seed bank and the seed rain play an important role in providing seeds for immediate regeneration after a large wildfire throughout the burned area. We suggest that the role of seed rain on immediate post-fire recovery of Mediterranean plant communities might be more important than has previously been thought. However, the effective role of this group of species on the longer term should be evaluated. © IAWF 2012.
Rodríguez N., Armenteras D., Molowny-Horas R., Retana J. (2012) Patterns and trends of forest loss in the Colombian Guyana. Biotropica. 44: 123-132.LinkDoi: 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.
Vayreda J., Gracia M., Canadell J.G., Retana J. (2012) Spatial Patterns and Predictors of Forest Carbon Stocks in Western Mediterranean. Ecosystems. 15: 1258-1270.LinkDoi: 10.1007/s10021-012-9582-7
Mediterranean semi-arid forest ecosystems are especially sensitive to external forcing. An understanding of the relationship between forest carbon (C) stock, and environmental conditions and forest structure enable prediction of the impacts of climate change on C stocks and help to define management strategies that maximize the value of forests for C mitigation. Based on the national forest inventory of Spain (1997-2008 with 70,912 plots), we estimated the forest C stock and spatial variability in Peninsular Spain and, we determined the extent to which the observed patterns of stand C stock can be explained by structural and species richness, climate and disturbances. Spain has an average stand C stock of 45.1 Mg C/ha. Total C stock in living biomass is 621 Tg C (7.8% of the C stock of European forests). The statistical models show that structural richness, which is driven by past land use and life forest history including age, development stage, management activities, and disturbance regime, is the main predictor of stand tree C stock with larger C stocks in structurally richer stands. Richness of broadleaf species has a positive effect on both conifer and broadleaf forests, whereas richness of conifer species shows no significant or even a negative effect on C stock. Climate variables have mainly an indirect effect through structural richness but a smaller direct predictive ability when all predictors are considered. To achieve a greater standing C stock, our results suggest promoting high structural richness by managing for uneven-aged stands and favoring broadleaf over conifer species. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.
Vayreda J., Martinez-Vilalta J., Gracia M., Retana J. (2012) Recent climate changes interact with stand structure and management to determine changes in tree carbon stocks in Spanish forests. Global Change Biology. 18: 1028-1041.LinkDoi: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2011.02606.x
Most temperate forests are accumulating carbon (C) and may continue to do so in the near future. However, the situation may be different in water-limited ecosystems, where the potentially positive effects of C and N fertilization and rising temperatures interact with water availability. In this study, we use the extensive network of plots of two consecutive Spanish national forest inventories to identify the factors that determine the spatial variation of the C stock change, growth, and mortality rate of forests in Peninsular Spain (below- and aboveground). We fitted general linear models to assess the response of C stock change and its components to the spatial variability of climate (in terms of water availability), forest structure (tree density and C stock), previous forest management, and the recent warming trend. Our results show that undisturbed forests in Peninsular Spain are accumulating C at a rate of ~1.4 Mg C ha -1 yr -1, and that forest structural variables are the main determinants of forest growth and C stock change. Water availability was positively related to growth and C accumulation. On the other hand, recent warming has reduced growth rate and C accumulation, especially in wet areas. Spatial variation in mortality (in terms of C loss) was mostly driven by differences in growth rate across plots, and was consistent with 'natural', self-thinning dynamics related to the recent abandonment of forest management over large areas of Spain, with the consequent increase in tree density and competition. Interestingly, the negative effect of warming on forest C accumulation disappears if only managed stands are considered, emphasizing the potential of forest management to mitigate the effects of climate change. However, the effect of forest management was weak and, in some cases, not significant, implying the need of further research on its impact. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Vilà-Cabrera A., Rodrigo A., Martínez-Vilalta J., Retana J. (2012) Lack of regeneration and climatic vulnerability to fire of Scots pine may induce vegetation shifts at the southern edge of its distribution. Journal of Biogeography. 39: 488-496.LinkDoi: 10.1111/j.1365-2699.2011.02615.x
Aim Forest ecosystems dominated by fire-sensitive species could suffer shifts in composition under altered crown fire regimes mediated by climate change. The aims of this study were to: (1) study the spatio-temporal patterns and the climatic distribution of fires in Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) forests during the last 31years in north-eastern Spain, (2) evaluate the climatic vulnerability to fire of these forests in Spain, (3) analyse the regeneration of Scots pine after fire, and (4) predict the mid-term maintenance or replacement of Scots pine in burned areas. Location Catalonia (north-eastern Spain): the southern distribution limit of Scots pine. Methods We characterized the spatio-temporal and the climatic distribution of fires that occurred in Catalonia between 1979 and 2009. We used a generalized linear model to characterize the climatic vulnerability to fire of Scots pine in the whole of Spain. We assessed the regeneration of the species after crown fires in nine burned areas in Catalonia. The resulting data were integrated into a stochastic matrix model to predict the mid-term maintenance or replacement of Scots pine in burned areas. Results During the last three decades, Scots pine forests distributed in dry sites were most affected by fire. Our assessment of the vulnerability to fire of Scots pine forests in Spain as a whole, based on climatic and topographical variables, showed that 32% of these forests are vulnerable to fire, and that this proportion could increase to 66% under a conservative climate change scenario. Field data showed almost no regeneration of Scots pine after crown fires, and a limited capacity to recolonize from unburned edges, even in relatively old fires, with 90% of recruits located in the first 25m from the edge. This process could be delayed by the elapsed time for new recruits to achieve reproductive maturity, which we estimated to be c.15years. Finally, our matrix model predicted the replacement of burned Scots pine forests by oak (Quercus sp.) forests, shrublands or mixed resprouter forests. Main conclusions Increased vulnerability to fire of Scots pine forests under future, warmer conditions may result in vegetation shifts at the southern edge of the distribution of the species. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Alvarez A, Gracia M, Retana J (2011) Fuel types and crown fire potential in Mediterranean pine forests. European Journal of Forest Research doi: 10.1007/s10342-011-0520-6.
Alvarez A, Gracia M, Vayreda J, Retana J (2011) Patterns of fuel types and crown fire potential in Pinus halepensis forests in the Western Mediterranean Basin. Forest Ecology and Management doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2011.01.039.
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