Forest Conditions (forest + condition)

Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Life Sciences

Selected Abstracts

One Hundred Fifty Years of Change in Forest Bird Breeding Habitat: Estimates of Species Distributions

aptitud del hábitat; ecología aviar; ecología de paisaje; planificación de conservación Abstract:,Evaluating bird population trends requires baseline data. In North America the earliest population data available are those from the late 1960s. Forest conditions in the northern Great Lake states (U.S.A.), however, have undergone succession since the region was originally cut over around the turn of the twentieth century, and it is expected that bird populations have undergone concomitant change. We propose pre-Euro-American settlement as an alternative baseline for assessing changes in bird populations. We evaluated the amount, quality, and distribution of breeding bird habitat during the mid-1800s and early 1990s for three forest birds: the Pine Warbler (Dendroica pinus), Blackburnian Warbler (D. fusca), and Black-throated Green Warbler (D. virens). We constructed models of bird and habitat relationships based on literature review and regional data sets of bird abundance and applied these models to widely available vegetation data. Original public-land survey records represented historical habitat conditions, and a combination of forest inventory and national land-cover data represented current conditions. We assessed model robustness by comparing current habitat distribution to actual breeding bird locations from the Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas. The model showed little change in the overall amount of Pine Warbler habitat, whereas both the Blackburnian Warber and the Black-throated Green Warbler have experienced substantial habitat losses. For the species we examined, habitat quality has degraded since presettlement and the spatial distribution of habitat shifted among ecoregions, with range expansion accompanying forest incursion into previously open habitats or the replacement of native forests with pine plantations. Sources of habitat loss and degradation include loss of conifers and loss of large trees. Using widely available data sources in a habitat suitability model framework, our method provides a long-term analysis of change in bird habitat and a presettlement baseline for assessing current conservation priority. Resumen:,La evaluación de tendencias de las poblaciones de aves requiere de datos de referencia. En Norte América, los primeros datos disponibles de poblaciones son del final de la década de 1960. Sin embargo, las condiciones de los bosques en los estados de los Grandes Lagos (E.U.A.) han experimentado sucesión desde que la región fue talada en los inicios del siglo veinte, y se espera que las poblaciones de aves hayan experimentado cambios concomitantes. Proponemos que se considere al período previo a la colonización euro americana como referencia alternativa para evaluar los cambios en las poblaciones de aves. Evaluamos la cantidad, calidad y distribución del hábitat para reproducción de tres especies de aves de bosque (Dendroica pinus, D. fusca y D. virens) a mediados del siglo XIX e inicios del XX. Construimos modelos de las relaciones entre las aves y el hábitat con base en la literatura y conjuntos de datos de abundancia de aves y los aplicamos a los datos de vegetación ampliamente disponibles. Los registros topográficos de tierras públicas originales representaron las condiciones históricas del hábitat, y una combinación de datos del inventario forestal y de cobertura de suelo representaron las condiciones actuales. Evaluamos la robustez del modelo mediante la comparación de la distribución de hábitat actual con sitios de reproducción de aves registrados en el Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas. El modelo mostró poco cambio en la cantidad total de hábitat de Dendroica pinus, mientras que tanto D. fusca como D. virens han experimentado pérdidas sustanciales de hábitat. Para las especies examinadas, la calidad del hábitat se ha degradado desde antes de la colonización y la distribución espacial del hábitat cambió entre ecoregiones, con la expansión del rango acompañando la incursión de bosques en hábitats anteriormente abiertos o el reemplazo de bosques nativos con plantaciones de pinos. Las fuentes de pérdida y degradación de hábitats incluyen la pérdida de coníferas y de árboles grandes. Mediante la utilización de fuentes de datos ampliamente disponibles en un modelo de aptitud de hábitat, nuestro método proporciona un análisis a largo plazo de los cambios en el hábitat de aves y una referencia precolonización para evaluar prioridades de conservación actuales. [source]

Rain forest invasion of eucalypt-dominated woodland savanna, Iron Range, north-eastern Australia: II.

Rates of landscape change
Abstract Aim, To explore rates of rain forest expansion and associated ecological correlates in Eucalyptus -dominated woodland savanna vegetation in north-eastern Australia, over the period 1943,91. Location, Iron Range National Park and environs, north-east Queensland, Australia. This remote region supports probably the largest extent of lowland (< 300 m) rain forest extant in Australia. Rainfall (c. 1700 mm p.a.) occurs mostly between November and June, with some rain typically occurring even in the driest months July,October. Methods, Interpretation of change in lowland rain forest vegetation cover was undertaken for a 140 km2 area comprising complex vegetation, geology and physiography using available air photos (1943, 1970 and 1991). A GIS database was assembled comprising rain forest extent for the three time periods, geology, elevation, slope, aspect, proximity to streams and roads. Using standard GIS procedures, a sample of 6996 10 × 10 m cells (0.5% of study area) was selected randomly and attributed for vegetation structure (rain forest and non-rain forest), and landscape features. Associations of rain forest expansion with landscape features were examined with logistic regression using the subset of cells that had changed from other vegetation types to rain forest, and remained rain forest over the assessment period, and comparing them with cells that showed no change from their original, non-rain forest condition. Results, Rain forest in the air photo study area increased from 45 km2 in 1943 to 78.1 km2 by 1970, and to 82.6 km2 by 1991. Rainfall (and atmospheric CO2 concentration) was markedly lower in the first assessment period (1943,70). Modelled rates of rain forest invasion differed predominantly with respect to substrate type, occurring faster on substrates possessing better moisture retention properties, and across all elevation classes. Greatest expansion, at least in the first assessment period, occurred on the most inherently infertile substrates. Expansion was little constrained by slope, aspect and proximity to streams and roads. On schist substrates, probability of invasion remained high (> 60%) over distances up to 1500 m from mature rain forest margins; on less favourable substrates (diorite, granites), probability of expansion was negligible at sites more than 400 m from mature margins. Main conclusions, (i) Rain forest expansion was associated primarily with release from burning pressure from c. the 1920s, following major disruption of customary Aboriginal lifestyles including hunting and burning practices. (ii) Decadal-scale expansion of rain forest at Iron Range supports extensive observations from the palaeoecological literature concerning rapid rain forest invasion under conducive environmental conditions. (iii) The generality of these substrate-mediated observations requires further testing, especially given that landscape-scale rain forest invasion of sclerophyll-dominated communities is reported from other regions of north-eastern Australia. [source]

Stress in Yucatan spider monkeys: effects of environmental conditions on fecal cortisol levels in wild and captive populations

A. Rangel-Negrín
Abstract In the Yucatán Peninsula, spider monkeys Ateles geoffroyi yucatanensis are generally found in two contrasting conditions: large tracts of conserved forest or small fragments surrounded by human populations. In the present study, we analyzed fecal cortisol levels of spider monkeys to investigate whether environmental conditions have an influence on stress; specifically, we compared fecal cortisol across individuals living in conserved forests, fragmented forests and captive conditions (zoos and pets). Radioimmunoanalysis of fecal samples from 121 individuals indicated significant differences in mean cortisol for A. g. yucatanensis based on habitat type, with the lowest levels found in the conserved forest condition. The higher cortisol levels in both fragmented forest populations and in captive individuals may be the result of metabolic and behavioral stress. The mean male fecal cortisol concentration was significantly higher than that of females, and the fecal cortisol concentration was higher in the dry season compared with the wet season in a conserved habitat. Therefore, we emphasize the importance of considering sex and seasonality when monitoring fecal cortisol concentrations of spider monkeys, and more generally of frugivores, as they face a seasonal variation in food availability. Finally, our results suggest that forest fragmentation may create long-term stressors for spider monkeys, affecting the viability of populations living under such conditions. [source]

Evaluation of mangrove structure and condition in two trans-boundary areas in the Western Indian Ocean

S. O. Bandeira
Abstract 1.The structure, forest condition and regeneration status of nine mangrove forests in two trans-boundary areas of Mozambique bordering Tanzania and South Africa were studied. The main objective was to estimate the cutting intensity in the selected sites , Saco and Sangala in southern Mozambique; Mecúfi, Pemba, Ibo, Luchete, Ulo in northern Mozambique, and Mngoji 1 and Mngoji 2 in Tanzania. 2.A total of 135, 10,m×10,m quadrats were set in the outer, middle and lower parts of the mangrove forests at all sampling sites. Measurements included stem diameter at breast height (DBH) and height of adult trees (i.e. all trees with stem diameter more than 2.5,cm). Young trees (with stem diameter of less than 2.5,cm) were classified as juveniles. To assess forest condition, trees within the quadrat were classified into intact, partially cut, coppiced, die back and stump. Pole quality was appraised through the classification of the lead stem into three categories,straight, semi-straight and crooked poles. 3.The results indicate different levels of exploitation with Mngoji 1 and Mngoji 2, the most degraded sites, having stump densities of 959,stumps,ha,1 and 592,stumps,ha,1, respectively. Most sites had mostly poles of inferior quality (crooked poles), but high densities of straight and semi-straight poles were found in Mngoji 1 (742,stems,ha,1) and Saco (636,stems,ha,1). 4.Natural regeneration was observed in most sites but not for all species, with adequate regeneration in Saco (14,766 saplings ha,1) and Mecúfi (14,706 saplings ha,1), while low regeneration was recorded in Mngoji 1 and 2 (2212 saplings ha,1 and 4799saplingsha,1, respectively). 5.These results indicate the need for improved mangrove management and replanting especially in mangrove depleted conservation areas of southern Tanzania. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Impacts of grazing, selective logging and hyper-aggressors on diurnal bird fauna in intact forest landscapes of the Brigalow Belt, Queensland

Abstract The impact of forest management on diurnal bird assemblages and abundance was investigated in contiguous tracts of eucalypt forest in the Brigalow Belt Bioregion, south central Queensland. Sites were located across three levels of livestock grazing intensity and three levels of selective logging intensity within the most extensive habitat type, Corymbia citriodora -dominant forest. We recorded a high rate of incidence and large numbers of the hyper-aggressive noisy miner Manorina melanocephala (Passeriformes: Meliphagidae) at the majority of our survey sites, a phenomenon rarely reported in non-cleared landscapes. As shown by numerous studies in fragmented landscapes, the distribution of this species in our study had a substantial negative effect upon the distribution of small passerine species. Noisy miners exerted the strongest influence upon small passerine abundance, and masked any forest management effects. However, key habitat features important for small passerines were identified, including a relatively high density of large trees and stems in the midstorey. Selective logging appeared to exert a minimal effect upon noisy miner abundance, whereas grazing intensity had a profound, positive influence. Noisy miners were most abundant in intensively grazed forest with minimal midstorey and a low volume of coarse woody debris. Higher road density in the forest landscape also corresponded with increased numbers of noisy miners. Reduction in grazing pressure in Brigalow Belt forests has the potential to benefit small passerine assemblages across large areas through moderating noisy miner abundance. The strong relationship between noisy miners and small passerines suggests that noisy miner abundance could act as an easily measured indicator of forest condition, potentially contributing to monitoring of forest management outcomes. [source]

Effects of Conversion of Dry Tropical Forest to Agricultural Mosaic on Herpetofaunal Assemblages

atributos de vulnerabilidad; bosque tropical seco; ensambles herpetofaunísticos; modificación del hábitat; mosaico agrícola Abstract:,We explored the impact of forest conversion to agricultural mosaic on anuran, lizard, snake, and turtle assemblages of Neotropical dry forests. Over 2 years, we sampled 6 small watersheds on the west coast of Mexico, 3 conserved and 3 disturbed. The disturbed watersheds were characterized by a mosaic of pastures and cultivated fields (corn, beans, squash) intermingled with patches of different successional stages of dry forest. In each watershed, we conducted 11 diurnal and nocturnal time-constrained searches in 10 randomly established plots. We considered vulnerability traits of species in relation to habitat modification. Eighteen anuran, 18 lizard, 23 snake, and 3 turtle species were recorded. Thirty-six species (58%) occurred in both forest conditions, and 14 (22%) and 12 species (19%) occurred only in the conserved and disturbed sites, respectively. Assemblages responded differently to disturbance. Species richness, diversity, and abundance of lizards were higher in disturbed forests. Anuran diversity and species richness were lower in disturbed forest but abundance was similar in both forest conditions. Diversity, richness, and abundance of turtles were lower in disturbed forest. The structure and composition of snake assemblages did not differ between forest conditions. We considered species disturbance sensitive if their abundance was significantly less in disturbed areas. Four anuran (22%), 2 lizard (11%), and 3 turtle (100%) species were sensitive to disturbance. No snake species was sensitive. The decline in abundance of disturbance-sensitive species was associated with the reduction of forest canopy cover, woody stem cover, roots, and litter-layer ground cover. Anuran species with small body size and direct embryonic development were especially sensitive to forest disturbance. An important goal for the conservation of herpetofauna should be the determination of species traits associated with extinction or persistence in agricultural mosaics. Resumen:,Exploramos el impacto de la conversión de bosques a mosaico agrícola sobre ensambles de lagartijas, serpientes y tortugas de bosques Neotropicales secos. Durante 2 años muestreamos 6 cuencas pequeñas, 3 conservadas y 3 perturbadas, en la costa occidental de México. Las cuencas perturbadas se caracterizaron por un mosaico de pastizales y campos cultivados (maíz, frijol, calabaza) entremezclados con parches de bosque seco en diferentes etapas sucesionales. En cada cuenca, realizamos 11 búsquedas diurnas y nocturnas en 10 parcelas establecidas aleatoriamente. Consideramos los atributos de vulnerabilidad de especies en relación con la modificación del hábitat. Registramos 18 especies de lagartijas, 23 de serpientes y 3 de tortugas. Treinta y seis especies (58%) ocurrieron en ambas condiciones de bosque, y 14 (22%) y 12 (19%) especies solo ocurrieron en los sitios conservados y perturbados, respectivamente. Los ensambles respondieron a la perturbación de manera diferente. La riqueza de especies, la diversidad y la abundancia de lagartijas fueron mayores en los bosques perturbados. La diversidad y riqueza de especies de anuros fueron menores en el bosque perturbado pero la abundancia fue similar en ambas condiciones de bosque. La diversidad, riqueza de especies y abundancia de tortugas fueron menores en el bosque perturbado. La estructura y la composición de los ensambles de serpientes no difirieron entre condiciones de bosque. Consideramos que las especies eran sensibles a la perturbación si su abundancia fue significativamente menor en las áreas perturbadas. Cuatro (22%) especies de anuros, 2 (11%) de lagartijas y 3 (100%) de tortugas fueron sensibles a la perturbación. Ninguna especie de serpiente fue sensible. La declinación en la abundancia de especies sensibles a la perturbación se asoció con la reducción en la cobertura del dosel, de tallos leñosos, raíces y hojarasca. Las especies de anuros de cuerpo pequeño y desarrollo embrionario directo fueron especialmente sensibles a la perturbación del bosque. La determinación de atributos de las especies asociadas con su extinción o persistencia en mosaicos agrícolas debería ser una meta importante para la conservación de la herpetofauna. [source]

Runoff and peak flow responses to timber harvest and forest age in southern Chile

Professor Andrés Iroumé
Abstract Runoff and peak flows in three experimental catchments with different forest conditions were analysed in a rainy temperate climate in southern Chile. The hydrological effects of clearcutting a Pinus radiata plantation covering 79·4% of the La Reina catchment were studied by analysing runoff and peak flows in the pre- and post-harvesting periods. Mean annual runoff increased 110% after timber harvesting. Clearcutting generated a 32% mean increase in peak flows. Peak flow and runoff were examined in two adjacent catchments with different forest conditions. The older plantation in Los Ulmos 1 increasingly consumed more water than the younger plantation established at Los Ulmos 2, whereas differences in peak flows between these two catchments were not significant. Runoff and peak flows comparisons not only reflected changes in forest cover, but also the effect of rainfall characteristics during the study periods and the basins' morphologies. Comparisons between pre- and post-harvesting peak discharges must be undertaken with caution, because a previous analysis at La Reina using a partial set of data overestimated changes in peak flows after timber harvesting. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Disturbance indicators and population decline of logged species in Mt. Elgon Forest, Kenya

Joseph Hitimana
Abstract Mount (Mt) Elgon forest in western Kenya is important for biodiversity, environmental protection and socio-economic development. Characterizing forest conditions is essential for evaluation of sustainable management and conservation activities. This paper covers findings of a study which determined and analysed indicators useful in monitoring disturbance levels in the Mt Elgon Forest. A systematic survey was carried out and covered 305 plots of 0.02 ha and 250 smaller nested regeneration plots along 10 belt transects that were distributed in five blocks within the moist lower montane forest type. Collected and analysed data include types of disturbance, tree species composition, abundance and logged species. Correlation breakdown among disturbance types revealed that, paths were indicators of the number of tree harvesting sites (rs =1.00, P < 0.01) and of de-vegetated areas through grass harvesting (rs = 0.90, P = 0.04). Solanum mauritianum Scop. was an indicator of old-charcoal production sites. Logging targeted 13 tree species and harvested trees with diameter at breast height above 20 cm. The most exploited species were Olea capensis L. and Deinbolia kilimandscharica Taub. All exploited species had low regeneration but tree regeneration was not an effective indicator of logging. Résumé La forêt du Mont Elgon, dans l'ouest du Kenya, est importante pour sa biodiversité, pour la protection de l'environnement et pour le développement socioéconomique. Il est essentiel de bien définir les caractéristiques de ses conditions pour pouvoir évaluer les activités de gestion durable et de conservation. Cet article reprend les résultats d'une étude qui a déterminé et analysé des indicateurs intéressants pour pouvoir suivre le niveau de perturbation dans la forêt du Mont Elgon. Une étude systématique fut menée, qui a couvert 305 parcelles de 0,02 ha et 250 plus petites parcelles de régénération incluses le long de 10 transects de ceinture, distribuées en cinq blocs dans la forêt humide de basse montagne. Les données récoltées et analysées comprennent les types de perturbation, la composition des espèces d'arbres, leur abondance et celles qui sont exploitées. Une rupture de corrélation parmi les types de perturbation a révélé que les sentiers étaient des indicateurs du nombre de sites oùétaient récoltés les arbres (rs = 1.00; P < 0.01) et de zones sans végétation à cause de la récolte de l'herbe (rs = 0.90; P < 0.04). Solanum mauritianum Scop. était un indicateur d'anciens sites de production de charbon de bois. Les coupes d'arbres concernaient 13 espèces dont le diamètre à hauteur de poitrine dépassait 20 cm. Les espèces les plus exploitées étaient Olea capensis L. et Deinbolia kilimandscharica Taub. Toutes les espèces exploitées avaient une faible régénération, mais une régénération d'arbres n'était pas un indicateur fiable d'anciennes coupes d'arbres. [source]

Size-dependence of growth and mortality influence the shade tolerance of trees in a lowland temperate rain forest

Georges Kunstler
Summary 1A trade-off between growth in high-light and survival in low-light of species is often proposed as a key mechanism underpinning the dynamics of trees in forest communities. Yet, growth and survival are known to depend on plant size and few studies have analysed how this trade-off can vary between juvenile life stages and the potential consequences of the trade-off for the differences in regeneration rate between species in mixed forests. 2We quantified growth and mortality for two different juvenile life stages , seedlings and saplings , of seven tree species common in temperate rain forests in New Zealand using data from field studies. We found strong evidence that the ranking of species for survival in shade and growth in full light was affected by size. There was a trade-off between seedling survival in low light and sapling height growth in high light, but no trade-offs were observed when considering other combinations of life stages (seedling growth vs. seedling survival, seedling growth vs. sapling survival, or sapling growth vs. sapling survival). 3We ran simulations with an individual-based forest dynamics model , SORTIE/NZ , to explore how the trade-off drives the differences in tree species regeneration success in gaps vs. under closed forest conditions. These simulations indicate that because species' ranks in shade tolerance varied with life stage, regeneration success was not predicted from knowledge of tree performance at a single life stage. For instance, high-light sapling growth was a strong determinant of regeneration success in forest gaps, but seedling growth was also influential. Under closed forest, regeneration success was primarily limited by low-light mortality at the seedling stage, but seedling growth and sapling survival were also influential. 4Synthesis. Growth-survival trade-offs can be strongly affected by the size of the individual analysed, resulting in completely different rankings of the shade tolerance of species across different juvenile life stages. Performance of both seedlings and saplings influenced regeneration success, highlighting the need to consider growth-survival trade-offs and the shade-tolerance strategies of tree species over a large range of juvenile sizes. [source]


William J. Elliot
ABSTRACT: The Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) is a physically based erosion model for applications to dryland and irrigated agriculture, rangeland, and forests. U.S. Forest Service (USFS) experience showed that WEPP was not being adapted because of the difficulty in building files describing the input conditions in the existing interfaces. To address this difficulty, a suite of Internet interfaces with a database was developed to more easily predict soil erosion for a wide range of climatic and forest conditions, including roads, fires, and timber harvest. The database included a much larger climate database than was previously available for applications in remote forest and rangeland areas. Validation results showed reasonable agreement between erosion values reported in the literature and values predicted by the interfaces to the WEPP model. [source]

Aspen succession and nitrogen loading: a case for epiphytic lichens as bioindicators in the Rocky Mountains, USA

Paul C. Rogers
Abstract Question: Can lichen communities be used to assess short- and long-term factors affecting seral quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) communities at the landscape scale? Location: Bear River Range, within the Rocky Mountains, in northern Utah and southern Idaho, USA. Method: Forty-seven randomly selected mid-elevation aspen stands were sampled for lichens and stand conditions. Plots were characterized according to tree species cover, basal area, stand age, bole scarring, tree damage, and presence of lichen species. We also recorded ammonia emissions with passive sensors at 25 urban and agricultural sites throughout an adjacent populated valley upwind of the forest stands. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling (NMS) ordination was used to evaluate an array of 20 variables suspected to influence lichen communities. Results: In NMS, forest succession explained most variance in lichen composition and abundance, although atmospheric nitrogen from local agricultural and urban sources also significantly influenced the lichen communities. Abundance of nitrophilous lichen species decreased with distance from peak ammonia sources and the urban center in all aspen succession classes. One lichen, Phaeophyscia nigricans, was found to be an effective bioindicator of nitrogen loading. Conclusions: Lichen communities in this landscape assessment of aspen forests showed clear responses to long-term (stand succession) and short-term (nitrogen deposition) influences. At the same time, several environmental factors (e.g. tree damage and scarring, distance to valley, topography, and stand age) had little influence on these same lichen communities. We recommend further use of epiphytic lichens as bioindicators of dynamic forest conditions. [source]