The study investigated the effects of human-induced landscape patterns on species richness in forests. For 80 plots of fixed size, we measured human disturbance (categorized as urban/industrial and agricultural land areas), at ‘local’ and ‘landscape’ scale (500m and 2500m radius from each plot, respectively), the distance from the forest edge, and the size and shape of the woody patch. By using GLM, we analyzed the effects of disturbance and patch-based measures on both total species richness and the richness of a group of specialist species (i.e. the ‘ancient forest species’), representing more specific forest features. Patterns of local species richness were sensitive to the structure and composition of the surrounding landscape. Among the landscape components taken into account, urban/industrial land areas turned out as the most threatening factor for both total species richness and the richness of the ancient forest species. However, the best models evidenced a different intensity of the response to the same disturbance category as well as a different pool of significant variables for the two groups of species. The use of groups of species, such as the ancient forest species pool, that are functionally related and have similar ecological requirements, may represent an effective solution for monitoring forest dynamics under the effects of external factors. The approach of relating local assessment of species richness, and in particular of the ancient forest species pool, to land-use patterns may play an important role for the science-policy interface by supporting and strengthening conservation and regional planning decision making.

Local versus landscape-scale effects of anthropogenic land-use on forest species richness

Buffa, G.
;
Del Vecchio, S.;Fantinato, E.;Milano, Veronica
2018-01-01

Abstract

The study investigated the effects of human-induced landscape patterns on species richness in forests. For 80 plots of fixed size, we measured human disturbance (categorized as urban/industrial and agricultural land areas), at ‘local’ and ‘landscape’ scale (500m and 2500m radius from each plot, respectively), the distance from the forest edge, and the size and shape of the woody patch. By using GLM, we analyzed the effects of disturbance and patch-based measures on both total species richness and the richness of a group of specialist species (i.e. the ‘ancient forest species’), representing more specific forest features. Patterns of local species richness were sensitive to the structure and composition of the surrounding landscape. Among the landscape components taken into account, urban/industrial land areas turned out as the most threatening factor for both total species richness and the richness of the ancient forest species. However, the best models evidenced a different intensity of the response to the same disturbance category as well as a different pool of significant variables for the two groups of species. The use of groups of species, such as the ancient forest species pool, that are functionally related and have similar ecological requirements, may represent an effective solution for monitoring forest dynamics under the effects of external factors. The approach of relating local assessment of species richness, and in particular of the ancient forest species pool, to land-use patterns may play an important role for the science-policy interface by supporting and strengthening conservation and regional planning decision making.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/3695389
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