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Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 23, Issue 10, pp 2579–2589 | Cite as

Assessing the impact of reforestation on the diversity of Mediterranean terrestrial Gastropoda

  • Ignasi Torre
  • Vicenç Bros
  • Xavier SantosEmail author
Original Paper

Abstract

In the Mediterranean basin, pine tree reforestation has been the most common management tool in restoring degraded and burnt areas, as well as for economic purposes. However, the quality of the biodiversity of these habitats has undergone little assessment. Terrestrial gastropods are suitable indicators of forest quality and long-term stability because of their strict dependence on microhabitat conditions and their slow dispersal rate. We sampled the gastropod population in a protected Mediterranean area in order to compare the species richness in seven main habitats. Holm oak wood and mixed-pine forests were the habitats with the lowest species density, and areas with a high level of heterogeneity exhibited the richest communities. In recent decades however, land abandonment and pine reforestation are leading to landscape homogeneity, which is perhaps the cause of the extinction of six open-habitat gastropod species in the Park. These results provide park authorities with insights into how to adapt management plans to enhance habitat quality for land snail and slug assemblages. More specifically, our results stress the need to create habitat heterogeneity to increase land mollusc diversity in large and continuous areas of mixed-pine forests.

Keywords

Mediterranean basin Biodiversity loss Nature reserves Reforestation Land snails Management 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank the Collserola Natural Park authorities for logistical help, especially Francesc Llimona and Sean Cahill (Estació Biològica de Can Balasc). This study was carried out with funding from the Consorci del Parc de Collserola. Xavier Santos was supported by a postdoctoral grant (SFRH/BPD/73176/2010) from Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT, Portugal). We also acknowledge the comments of two referees during the review process.

Supplementary material

10531_2014_740_MOESM1_ESM.xls (96 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (XLS 97 kb)
10531_2014_740_MOESM2_ESM.docx (28 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOCX 28 kb)
10531_2014_740_MOESM3_ESM.docx (104 kb)
Supplementary material 3 (DOCX 105 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Museu de Ciències Naturals de GranollersGranollersSpain
  2. 2.Oficina Tècnica de Parcs Naturals, Diputació de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.CIBIO/InBIO, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos GenéticosUniversidade do PortoVairãoPortugal

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