Environmental Management

, Volume 34, Issue 6, pp 819–828 | Cite as

Effects of Management on Understory Diversity in the Forest Ecosystems of Northern Spain

  • José A. Atauri
  • Carlos L. de Pablo
  • Pilar Martín de Agar
  • María F. Schmitz
  • Francisco D. Pineda
RESEARCH

Abstract

Pine plantations are an alternative to marginal agriculture in many countries, and are often presented as an option that improves biodiversity. However, these plantations can have adverse environmental effects if improperly managed. To evaluate the effect of forest management practices on biodiversity, the diversity, species richness, dominance and frequency of understory woody plant species in different forests of the Basque Country (northern Spain) were compared. Plantations of exotic conifers (Pinus radiata [D.] Don) of different ages were compared with deciduous forests of Quercus robur L. and Fagus sylvatica L. The effects of different types and intensities of management were taken into account. The differences observed were mainly conditioned by the intensity of forestry management, although the response varied according to forest type and age. In unmanaged pine plantations, the diversity and species richness of the understory increased rapidly after planting (while dominance decreased), remained stable in the intermediate age range, and reached a maximum in plantations more than 25 years of age. Management practices resulted in decreased understory diversity and species richness, as well as greater dominance. This was more pronounced in younger than in older stands. Moderate management, however, favored a greater diversity of the understory in deciduous forests. The species composition of the plantations and deciduous forests were different, the latter having a wider range of characteristic species. Knowledge of how forestry practices influence biodiversity (in terms of diversity, richness, dominance, and species composition) may allow predictions to be made about the diversity achievable with different management systems.

KEY WORDS

Biological diversity Forestry management Pine plantations Basque country Pinus radiata 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This paper was co-financed by the Basque Regional Government (Project PGV9045) and the CICYT (PB88-110). We thank Dr. P. Cifuentes and Dr. F. Ugarte for their advice in the sampling design, and C. Prieto, A. Goenaga, M. Jover, and I. Latasa for their collaboration in the sampling campaigns and data processing.

References

  1. Atauri, J. A., Pablo, C. L., Martín Agar, P., Schmitz, M. F., Ugarte, F. M., Pineda, F. D. 1992

    Tendencias de cambio recientes en el paisaje: relación con los factores socioeconómicos en la Reserva de la Biosfera de Urdaibai (Bizkaia)

    Beascoechea, J. M.Meaza, G.Serrano, S eds. Cuadernos de seccion. Historia-geografía. 20. Sociedad de Estudios VascosEusko IkaskuntzaDonostia413434
    Google Scholar
  2. Attiwill, P. M. 1994The disturbance of forest ecosystems: the ecological basis for conservative managementForest Ecology and Management63247300CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Barbero, M., Bonin, G., Loisel, R., Quézel, P. 1990Changes and disturbances of forest ecosystems caused by human activities in the western part of the Mediterranean basinVegetatio87151173CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Battles, J. J., Shlisky, A. J., Barrett, R. H., Heald, R. C., Allen-Diaz, B. H. 2001The effects of forest management on plant species diversity in a Sierran conifer forestForest Ecology and Management146211222CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brouwer, F. M.Thomas, A. J.Chadwick, M. J. eds. 1991Land use changes in Europe. Processes of change, environmental transformations and futureatternsKluwer Academic PublishersDordrechtGoogle Scholar
  6. Coccossis, H. N. 1991

    Historical land use changes: Mediterranean regions of Europe

    Brouwer, F. M.Thomas, A. J.Chadwick, M. J. eds. L and use changes in Europe. Processes of change, environmental transformations and future patternsKluwer Academic Publishers Dordrecht441461
    Google Scholar
  7. Connell, J. H. 1978Diversity in tropical rain forests and coral reefsScience19913021310CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cossalter, C., Pye-Smith, C. 2003Fast-wood forestry. Myths and realitiesCentre for International Forestry ResearchJakarta, Indonesia50Google Scholar
  9. Crow, T. R, Buckley, D. S., Nauertz, E. A., Zasada, J. C. 2002Effects of management on the composition and structure of Northern hardwood forests in Upper MichiganForest Science480129145Google Scholar
  10. Departamento de Industria, Agricultura y Pesca. 1997. Inventario forestal de la CAPV. Resultados por municipios. Serie documentos, no. 1. Servicio Central de Publicaciones, Gobierno Vasco, Vitoria-GasteizGoogle Scholar
  11. Edeso, J. M., Merino, A., González, M. J., Marauri, P. 1999Soil erosion under different harvesting management in steep forestlands from Northern SpainLand Degradation and Development107988CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Elliott, K. J., Boring, L. R., Swank, W. T., Haines, B. R. 1997Successional changes in plan species diversity and composition after clearcutting a southern Appalachian watershedForest Ecology and Management926785CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. European Commission (1992) Council regulation on agricultural methods compatible with the requirements of protection of the environment and the maintenance of the countryside. EC 2078/92 DO no. L 215 of 30.6.1992, p. 85Google Scholar
  14. Finegan, B. 1984Forest successionNature312109114CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Franklin, J. F. 1993Preserving biodiversity: species, ecosystems or landscapes?Ecological Applications3202205CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gandullo, J. M., González Alonso, S., Palomares, O. S. 1974

    Ecología de los pinares españoles. IV

    Don, D. eds. Pinus radiataMinisterio de Agricultura.INIA, Madrid
    Google Scholar
  17. Gibson, C. W. D., Watt, T. A., Brown, V. K. 1987The use of sheep grazing to recreate species-rich grassland from abandoned arable landBiological Conservation42165183CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gilliam, F. N., Turrill, L., Adams, M. B. 1995Herbaceous-layer and overstory species in clear-cut and mature central Appalachian hardwood forestsEcological Applications5947955CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Grime, J. P. 1979Plant strategies and vegetationrocessesWileyChichesterGoogle Scholar
  20. Groome, H. 1990Historia deaolítica forestal en el estado Español. Monografías 1Agencia de Medio AmbienteMadridGoogle Scholar
  21. Guerra Delgado, A. 1968Mapa de suelos de España. Escala 1:1.000.000CSICMadridGoogle Scholar
  22. Halpern, C. B., Spies, T. A. 1995Plant species diversity in natural and managed forests of the Pacific NorthwestEcological Applications5913934CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hansen, A. J., Spies, T. A., Swanson, F. J., Ohmann, J. L. 1991Conserving biodiversity in managed forests. Lessons from natural forestsBioScience41382392CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Huston, M. A. 1979A general hypothesis of species diversityAmerican Naturalist11381101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Jongman, R. H. G. eds. 1996Ecological and landscape consequences of land use change in Europe. ECNC publication series on Man and Nature, vol. 2ECNCTilburgGoogle Scholar
  26. Lambin, E. F. 2001The causes of land-use and land-cover change: moving beyond the mythsGlobal Environmental Change11261269and othersCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Liang, L., Stocking, M., Brookfield, H., Jansky, L. 2001Biodiversity conservation through agrodiversityGlobal Environmental Change1197101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Margalef, R. 1991

    Reflexiones sobre la diversidad y significado de su expresión adaptativa

    Pineda, F. D.Casado, M. A.Miguel, J. M.Montalvo, J. eds. Biological diversityFundación Areces-SCOPE-WWFMadrid109114
    Google Scholar
  29. Margalef, R. 1997Our biosphere. Excellence in ecology 10Ecology InstituteOldendorfGoogle Scholar
  30. Martín de Agar, P., de Pablo, , Pineda, C. L., Atauri, F. D. P., Jover, J. A., Prieto, M. T., Schmitz, C., Ugarte, M. F., Latasa, F., García, I. A. 1992

    Environmental effects of Pinus radiata plantations in the Basque country (Spain)

    Teller, A.Mathy, P.Jeffers, J. N. R. eds. Responses of forest ecosystems to environmental change Elsevier Applied ScienceLondon and New York
    Google Scholar
  31. Merino, A., Edeso, J. M. 1999Fertility rehabilitation in young Pinus radiata D. Don. plantations from northern Spain after intensive site preparationForest Ecology and Management1168391CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Merino, A., Edeso,  J. M., González, M. J., Marauri, P. 1998Soil properties in a hilly area following different harvesting management practicesForest Ecology and Management193235246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Molino,  J. F., Sabatier, D. 2001Tree diversity in tropical rain forest: a validation of the intermediate disturbance hypothesisScience29417021704CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Montalvo, J., Casado, M. A., Levassor, C., Pineda, F. D. 1993Species diversity patterns in Mediterranean grasslandsJournal of Vegetation Science4213222CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Morrison, P. H., F. J. Swanson. 1990. Fire history and pattern in a Cascade Mountain landscape. USDA Forest Service General Technical Report PNW-GTR-254. Portland, ORGoogle Scholar
  36. Odum, E. P. 1969The strategy of ecosystem developmentScience164262270CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Ojima, D. S., Galvin, K. A., Turner, B. L.,II 1994The global impact of land-use changeBioScience44300303CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Oñate, J. J., Andersen, E., Peco, B., Primdahl, J. 2000Agri-environmental schemes and the European agricultural landscapes: the role of indicators as valuing tools for evaluationLandscape Ecology15271280CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Petraitis, P. S., Latham, R. E., Niesebaum, R. A. 1989The maintenance of species diversity by disturbanceThe Quarterly Review of Biology64393418CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Pineda, F. D., Nicolás, J. P., Pou, A., Galiano, E. F. 1981Ecological succession in oligotrophic pastures of Central SpainVegetatio44165175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Pineda, F. D., Casado, M. A., Peco, B., Olmeda, C., Levassor, C. 1986Temporal changes in therophytic communities across the boundary of disturbed-intact ecosystemsVegetatio71333339Google Scholar
  42. Qian, H., Klinka, K., Sivak, B. 1997Diversity of the understory vascular vegetation in 40 year-old and old-growth stands on Vancouver Island, British ColumbiaJournal of Vegetation Science8773780CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Rescia, A. J., Schmitz, M. F., Martín Agar, P., Pablo, C. L., Atauri, J. A., Pineda, F. D. 1994Influence of landscape complexity and land management on woody plant diversity in northern SpainJournal of Vegetation Science5505516CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Rescia, A. J., Schmitz, M. F., Martín Agar, P., Pablo, C. L., Pineda, F. D. 1995Ascribing biological diversity values to historical changes in landscape boundaries: a methodological approachLandscape and Urban Planning31181194CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Roberts, M. R., Gilliam, F. S. 1995Patterns and mechanisms of plant diversity in forested ecosystems: implications for forest managementEcological Applications5969977CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Schmitz, M. F., Atauri, J. A., Pablo, C. L., Martín Agar, P., Rescia, A. J., Pineda, F. D. 1998Changes in land use in the N of Spain: forestry management and soil conservationForest Ecology and Management109137150CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Schulze, E. D., Mooney, H. A. 1993Biodiversity and ecosystem functionSpringer New YorkBerlinCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Shannon, C. E., Weaver, W. 1948Mathematical theory of communicationUniversity of Illinois PressUrbanaGoogle Scholar
  49. Spies, T. A., Franklin, J. F., Thomas, T. B. 1988Coarse woody debris in Douglas-fir forest of western Oregon and WashingtonEcology6916891702CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Stanners, D.Bordeau, P. eds. 1995Europe’s environment. The Dobris AssessmentEuropean Environment AgencyCopenhagenGoogle Scholar
  51. Tilman, D., Knops, J., Wedin, D., Reich, P., Ritchie, M., Siemann, E. 1997The influence of functional diversity and composition on ecosystem processesScience27713001302CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Turner, M. G. eds. 1987Landscape heterogeneity and disturbanceSpringer New York New YorkGoogle Scholar
  53. Urban, D. L., Smith, T. M. 1989Microhabitat pattern and the structure of forest bird communitiesAmerican Naturalist133811829CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Maarel, E. 1993Some remarks on disturbance ands its relations to diversity and stabilityJournal of Vegetation Science4733736CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. White, P. S., Pickett, S. T. A. 1985

    Natural disturbance and patch dynamics: an introduction

    Pickett, S. T. A.White, P. S. eds. The ecology of natural disturbance and patch dynamics Academic PressNew York313
    Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • José A. Atauri
    • 1
    • 2
  • Carlos L. de Pablo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Pilar Martín de Agar
    • 1
    • 2
  • María F. Schmitz
    • 1
    • 2
  • Francisco D. Pineda
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Departamento Interuniversitario de EcologíaFacultad de CienciasUniversidad de AlcaláMadridSpain
  2. 2.Departamento Interuniversitario de EcologíaFacultad de Ciencias Biológicasc/ José Antonio Novais s/nUniversidad ComplutenseMadridSpain

Personalised recommendations