Questions: Does the influence of forest edges on plant species richness and composition depend on forest management? Do forest specialists and generalists show contrasting patterns?Location: Mesic, deciduous forests across Europe.Methods: Vegetation surveys were performed in forests with three management types (unthinned, thinned 5-10 years ago and recently thinned) along a macroclimatic gradient from Italy to Norway. In each of 45 forests, we established five vegetation plots along a south-facing edge-to-interior gradient (n = 225). Forest specialist, generalist and total species richness, as well as evenness and proportion of specialists, were tested as a function of the management type and distance to the edge while accounting for several environmental variables (e.g. landscape composition and soil characteristics). Magnitude and distance of edge influence were estimated for species richness per management type. Results: Highest total species richness was found in thinned forests. Edge influence on generalist plant species richness was contingent on the management type, with the smallest decrease in species richness from the edge-to-interior in unthinned forests. In addition, generalist richness increased with the proportion of forests in the surrounding landscape and decreased in forests dominated by tree species that cast more shade. Forest specialist species richness however, was not affected by management type or distance to the edge, but only increased with pH and increasing proportion of forests in the landscape.Conclusions Forest thinning affects the plant community composition along edge-to-interior transects of European forests with richness of forest specialists and generalists responding differently. Therefore, future studies should take the forest management into account when interpreting edge-to-interior because both modify the microclimate, soil processes and deposition of polluting aerosols. This interaction is key to predict the effects of global change on forest plants in landscapes characterized by a mosaic of forest patches and agricultural land, typical for Europe.

Edge influence on understorey plant communities depends on forest management / Sanne Govaert, Camille Meeussen , Thomas Vanneste, Kurt Bollmann, Jörg Brunet, Sara A. O. Cousins, Martin Diekmann, Bente J. Graae, Per-Ola Hedwall, Thilo Heinken, Giovanni Iacopetti, Jonathan Lenoir, Sigrid Lindmo, Anna Orczewska, Michael P. Perring, Quentin Ponette, Jan Plue, Federico Selvi, Fabien Spicher, Matteo Tolosano, Pieter Vermeir, Florian Zellweger, Kris Verheyen, Pieter Vangansbeke & Pieter De Frenne. - In: JOURNAL OF VEGETATION SCIENCE. - ISSN 1100-9233. - STAMPA. - 31:(2020), pp. 281-292. [10.1111/jvs.12844]

Edge influence on understorey plant communities depends on forest management

Giovanni Iacopetti;Federico Selvi
Investigation
;
2020

Abstract

Questions: Does the influence of forest edges on plant species richness and composition depend on forest management? Do forest specialists and generalists show contrasting patterns?Location: Mesic, deciduous forests across Europe.Methods: Vegetation surveys were performed in forests with three management types (unthinned, thinned 5-10 years ago and recently thinned) along a macroclimatic gradient from Italy to Norway. In each of 45 forests, we established five vegetation plots along a south-facing edge-to-interior gradient (n = 225). Forest specialist, generalist and total species richness, as well as evenness and proportion of specialists, were tested as a function of the management type and distance to the edge while accounting for several environmental variables (e.g. landscape composition and soil characteristics). Magnitude and distance of edge influence were estimated for species richness per management type. Results: Highest total species richness was found in thinned forests. Edge influence on generalist plant species richness was contingent on the management type, with the smallest decrease in species richness from the edge-to-interior in unthinned forests. In addition, generalist richness increased with the proportion of forests in the surrounding landscape and decreased in forests dominated by tree species that cast more shade. Forest specialist species richness however, was not affected by management type or distance to the edge, but only increased with pH and increasing proportion of forests in the landscape.Conclusions Forest thinning affects the plant community composition along edge-to-interior transects of European forests with richness of forest specialists and generalists responding differently. Therefore, future studies should take the forest management into account when interpreting edge-to-interior because both modify the microclimate, soil processes and deposition of polluting aerosols. This interaction is key to predict the effects of global change on forest plants in landscapes characterized by a mosaic of forest patches and agricultural land, typical for Europe.
2020
31
281
292
Goal 15: Life on land
Sanne Govaert, Camille Meeussen , Thomas Vanneste, Kurt Bollmann, Jörg Brunet, Sara A. O. Cousins, Martin Diekmann, Bente J. Graae, Per-Ola Hedwall, Thilo Heinken, Giovanni Iacopetti, Jonathan Lenoir, Sigrid Lindmo, Anna Orczewska, Michael P. Perring, Quentin Ponette, Jan Plue, Federico Selvi, Fabien Spicher, Matteo Tolosano, Pieter Vermeir, Florian Zellweger, Kris Verheyen, Pieter Vangansbeke & Pieter De Frenne
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
Govaert et al. 2020.pdf

accesso aperto

Descrizione: PDF eletrronico
Tipologia: Pdf editoriale (Version of record)
Licenza: DRM non definito
Dimensione 1.33 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
1.33 MB Adobe PDF

I documenti in FLORE sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificatore per citare o creare un link a questa risorsa: https://hdl.handle.net/2158/1180056
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 36
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 33
social impact