Landscape Ecology

, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 355–370

Influence of landscape structure and stand age on species density and biomass of a tropical dry forest across spatial scales

  • J. Luis Hernández-Stefanoni
  • Juan Manuel Dupuy
  • Fernando Tun-Dzul
  • Filogonio May-Pat
Research Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10980-010-9561-3

Cite this article as:
Hernández-Stefanoni, J.L., Dupuy, J.M., Tun-Dzul, F. et al. Landscape Ecol (2011) 26: 355. doi:10.1007/s10980-010-9561-3

Abstract

Three central related issues in ecology are to identify spatial variation of ecological processes, to understand the relative influence of environmental and spatial variables, and to investigate the response of environmental variables at different spatial scales. These issues are particularly important for tropical dry forests, which have been comparatively less studied and are more threatened than other terrestrial ecosystems. This study aims to characterize relationships between community structure and landscape configuration and habitat type (stand age) considering different spatial scales for a tropical dry forest in Yucatan. Species density and above ground biomass were calculated from 276 sampling sites, while land cover classes were obtained from multi-spectral classification of a Spot 5 satellite imagery. Species density and biomass were related to stand age, landscape metrics of patch types (area, edge, shape, similarity and contrast) and principal coordinate of neighbor matrices (PCNM) variables using regression analysis. PCNM analysis was performed to interpret results in terms of spatial scales as well as to decompose variation into spatial, stand age and landscape structure components. Stand age was the most important variable for biomass, whereas landscape structure and spatial dependence had a comparable or even stronger influence on species density than stand age. At the very broad scale (8,000–10,500 m), stand age contributed most to biomass and landscape structure to species density. At the broad scale (2,000–8,000 m), stand age was the most important variable predicting both species density and biomass. Our results shed light on which landscape configurations could enhance plant diversity and above ground biomass.

Keywords

Alpha diversity Landscape patterns PCNM analysis Spatial scales Tropical dry forest succession Variation partitioning Vegetation structure 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Luis Hernández-Stefanoni
    • 1
  • Juan Manuel Dupuy
    • 1
  • Fernando Tun-Dzul
    • 1
  • Filogonio May-Pat
    • 1
  1. 1.Centro de Investigación Científica de Yucatán A.C. Unidad de Recursos NaturalesMéridaMéxico

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