Newton, A., Echeverria, C., Cantarello, E. and Bolados, G., 2011. Impacts of human disturbances on the dynamics of a dryland forest landscape. Biological Conservation, 144 (7), pp. 1949-1960.
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Systematic approaches to conservation planning and management require spatially explicit information on the dynamics of multiple disturbance processes, but progress in providing such information has been limited to date. Here we examine the use of a spatially explicit model of forest dynamics (LANDIS-II), incorporating a range of ecological processes, to examine the impacts of different types of disturbance on a dryland forest landscape in Central Chile. The model was parameterized using spatial data and results of a field survey, in which 21 native tree species were recorded, and one invasive exotic (Acacia dealbata). Seven disturbance scenarios were simulated, with different combinations of fire, browsing and tree cutting. Model results indicated relatively little impact of disturbance on forest cover but substantial differences in forest structure, with relatively old-growth forest stands (>120 years old) being virtually eliminated from the landscape in scenarios with both browsing and cutting. Tree species richness tended to be lower in those scenarios without disturbance, highlighting potential trade-offs between forest structure and species richness. Spread of A. dealbata was projected only to occur in the presence of fire when combined with browsing and/or cutting. These interactive effects of different forms of disturbance illustrate the value of process-based modeling approaches for exploring the spatial dynamics of multiple disturbance processes, but highlight the difficulty of identifying an optimum disturbance regime that would enable conservation objectives to be achieved. It is suggested that process-based models should form part of an analytical ‘toolkit’ to support the practical implementation of systematic conservation planning approaches.
|Uncontrolled Keywords:||Mediterranean Chile; Protected area; Anthropogenic disturbance; LANDIS-II; Forest landscape model|
|Subjects:||Geography and Environmental Studies|
|Group:||School of Applied Sciences > Centre for Conservation, Ecology and Environmental Change|
|Deposited By:||Professor Adrian Newton|
|Deposited On:||07 Nov 2011 13:01|
|Last Modified:||07 Mar 2013 15:49|
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