Confounding legacies of land uses and land-form pattern on the regional vegetation structure and diversity of Mediterranean montane forests

Abstract : Grazing by livestock and logging are among the main widespread forest uses in mountain forests. Centuries of these anthropogenic disturbances have shaped forests in Europe, especially in the Mediterranean region. Since the 19th century, pastoralism and forestry have experienced deep changes. The present study aims to assess and quantify the effects of these changes in forest uses along with environmental variables on forest vegetation structure and diversity in order to disentangle the role of landform versus land uses on ecological diversity in Mediterranean Pyrenees forests. Forest uses history was inferred from historical records and census whereas environmental variables, forest structure and diversity proxies were collected and measured based on 42 plots within 5 forests situated on the French-Spanish boundary. Both variables of environment and forest uses explained forest structure and diversity pattern. The most important part of the forest structure and the diversity pattern were due to the joined effect of forest uses, environmental and spatial variables. As expected, altitude, slope, temperature and precipitation were the main environmental drivers of forest structures and diversity. Among forest uses, the historical forestry treatment and the historical dominant livestock also strongly controlled the forest structure and diversity. Forest uses and environmental variables are closely related since forest use pattern is constrained by physical features. Covariation among forest uses and environ- mental variables produce confounding effects that make difficult the determination of the exact causal relationships. The contributions of forest uses, environmental and spatial variables were not disentangled due to large covariance between each variable.
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Forest Ecology and Management, Elsevier, 2017, 384, pp.268-278. 〈10.1016/j.foreco.2016.11.002〉
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https://hal-sde.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01401355
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Soumis le : mercredi 23 novembre 2016 - 11:16:16
Dernière modification le : jeudi 19 avril 2018 - 14:28:02

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Xavier Fortuny, Sandrine Chauchard, Christopher Carcaillet. Confounding legacies of land uses and land-form pattern on the regional vegetation structure and diversity of Mediterranean montane forests. Forest Ecology and Management, Elsevier, 2017, 384, pp.268-278. 〈10.1016/j.foreco.2016.11.002〉. 〈hal-01401355〉

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