Observatorio de I+D+i UPM

Memorias de investigación
Research Publications in journals:
Scattered trees and livestock grazing as keystones organisms for sustainable use and conservation of Mediterranean dehesas
Year:2016
Research Areas
  • Meditarranean forest
Information
Abstract
Mediterranean scattered oak woodlands support relatively high biological diversity, and provide important ecosystem services. However, there is still a lack of knowledge about livestock-tree-grassland relationships, knowledge necessary for effective conservation management in these systems. To address such lacuna, we measured the effects of scattered trees and grazing animals (livestock vs. wild ungulates, mostly deer) on biomass and diversity (and their relationship) of the herbaceous layer (understory) of open holm oak woodland (known as dehesa) in Central Spain, for two years. We located two 1-ha plots within three different grazing management schemes (cattle, sheep and wildlife only). Within each plot, we randomly selected four focal trees from which a subplot was established in two directions and three distances. In each subplot, we measured plant diversity and biomass, along with microclimatic variables across sites. We found rainfall variability affected herbaceous biomass and diversity in the dehesa system, and the effects were nuanced: in a dry year (<300 mm annual rainfall) the presence of livestock grazing correlated with higher herbaceous biomass (14%), and in moister year (>600 mm annual rainfall) the effect was enhanced, as plots under livestock grazing exhibited even higher herbaceous biomass (42%). In addition, livestock, particularly cattle, generated a more diverse community (52 species m?2). Microsites created by trees generated high plant diversity among herbaceous communities, where alpha diversity was higher (20%) in ecotone and inter-tree gaps than under the canopies. In addition, species turnover was higher than 50% in all cases. Biomass was higher (15%) under the canopies only under humid conditions. Legume dry matter was positively related to plant diversity. We concluded that agroforestry management practices such as promoting tree development through silvicultural techniques to create different microsites, and maintaining livestock grazing are needed to preserve these emblematic ecosystems.
International
Si
JCR
Si
Title
Journal For Nature Conservation
ISBN
1617-1381
Impact factor JCR
1,833
Impact info
Datos JCR del año 2013
Volume
33
Journal number
From page
58
To page
67
Month
SEPTIEMBRE
Ranking
Participants
  • Autor: Aida Lopez Sanchez (UPM)
  • Autor: Alfonso San Miguel Ayanz (UPM)
  • Autor: Rodolfo Dirzo (Stanford University)
  • Autor: Sonia Roig Gomez (UPM)
Research Group, Departaments and Institutes related
  • Creador: Grupo de Investigación: Ecología y Gestión Forestal Sostenible
  • Departamento: Sistemas y Recursos Naturales
S2i 2019 Observatorio de investigación @ UPM con la colaboración del Consejo Social UPM
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