Effective conservation of biodiversity in the face of increasing human impacts and global environmental changes requires accurate measurement of key trends and alternative management actions at landscape scales. Past ecological conditions are certainly important key factors in determining the present species diversity patterns and the inclusion of such factors (e.g. by historical cartographic data) can dramatically improve the predictive power of ecological models. In this paper we applied a retrogressive approach with the aim of simulating secondary forest regrowth effects on plant species diversity using present field data and historic land-use maps. The field data from an extensive sample were here used to model the temporal species richness change among the forest areas in the last 60 years. In order to rebuild the past species pool matrix using present field data and historical land use map, we applied a nearest neighbour selection using spatial query. Species-based rarefaction curves were derived for the two dates (1954 and 2010); the two datasets have been interpolated using inverse distance weighted algorithm, obtaining two maps showing the distribution of plant species richness for the two dates. The results showed that the cessation of human pressure on semi-natural areas and the consequent forest recovery, resulted in a decrease of vascular plant as a woodland flora replaces the open habitats flora. This study also showed that secondary forest regrowth and its effect on plant species diversity may be revealed by a retrogressive analysis, which represent a valid support in case of high uncertainty or absence of historical data.

Amici, V., Rocchini, D., Geri, F., Bacaro, G., Marcantonio, M., & Chiarucci, A. (2012). Effects of an afforestation process on plant species richness: A retrogressive analysis. ECOLOGICAL COMPLEXITY, 9, 55-62 [10.1016/j.ecocom.2011.11.006].

Effects of an afforestation process on plant species richness: A retrogressive analysis

AMICI, VALERIO;ROCCHINI, DUCCIO;GERI, FRANCESCO;BACARO, GIOVANNI;CHIARUCCI, ALESSANDRO
2012

Abstract

Effective conservation of biodiversity in the face of increasing human impacts and global environmental changes requires accurate measurement of key trends and alternative management actions at landscape scales. Past ecological conditions are certainly important key factors in determining the present species diversity patterns and the inclusion of such factors (e.g. by historical cartographic data) can dramatically improve the predictive power of ecological models. In this paper we applied a retrogressive approach with the aim of simulating secondary forest regrowth effects on plant species diversity using present field data and historic land-use maps. The field data from an extensive sample were here used to model the temporal species richness change among the forest areas in the last 60 years. In order to rebuild the past species pool matrix using present field data and historical land use map, we applied a nearest neighbour selection using spatial query. Species-based rarefaction curves were derived for the two dates (1954 and 2010); the two datasets have been interpolated using inverse distance weighted algorithm, obtaining two maps showing the distribution of plant species richness for the two dates. The results showed that the cessation of human pressure on semi-natural areas and the consequent forest recovery, resulted in a decrease of vascular plant as a woodland flora replaces the open habitats flora. This study also showed that secondary forest regrowth and its effect on plant species diversity may be revealed by a retrogressive analysis, which represent a valid support in case of high uncertainty or absence of historical data.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11365/21822
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