Comparable benefits of land sparing and sharing indicated by bird responses to stand-level plantation intensity in Hokkaido, northern Japan

Abstract

We examined potentially contrasting conservation benefits of land sparing (land-use specialization) and land sharing (multiple-use forestry) strategies in forested landscapes by investigating relationships between bird functional group densities and basal areas of coniferous trees (an index of plantation intensity) in Sakhalin fir (Abies sachalinensis) and Sakhalin spruce (Picea glehnii) plantations. Densities of most bird functional groups increased with decreasing plantation intensity in both plantation types. In many cases, linear models were best for descriptors of bird density–plantation intensity relationships, but statistical support of linear and nonlinear (quadratic) models was similar. This outcome indicates that ecological benefits of land sparing and land sharing are potentially comparable in the plantations we studied. In real landscapes, land-use decision making depends on a variety of factors other than biodiversity conservation (e.g., social and biophysical factors). Furthermore, niche theory also predicts that population densities could linearly respond to environmental gradients. When density–intensity relationships are linear, as in this study, land-sparing and land-sharing strategies provide similar benefits in terms of biodiversity conservation, and contrasting land-use strategies could be flexibly chosen to enhance the accommodation of biodiversity conservation to resource production.

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Acknowledgments

The forest management office of the Ishikari General Subprefectural Bureau provided assistance in our field survey. We greatly thank the members of the Department of Forest Science and the members of the Forest Ecosystem Management Group of Hokkaido University for their field assistance and helpful discussions during the study. This study was partially supported by JSPS KAKENHIs Grant Nos. 23780153 and 24310029 and the Asahi Glass Foundation (Kondo Jiro Grant of 2012).

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Correspondence to Yuichi Yamaura.

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Yoshii, C., Yamaura, Y., Soga, M. et al. Comparable benefits of land sparing and sharing indicated by bird responses to stand-level plantation intensity in Hokkaido, northern Japan. J For Res 20, 167–174 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10310-014-0453-2

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Keywords

  • Broad-leaved trees
  • Conifer plantations
  • Land-use intensity
  • Planted forest
  • Response diversity