Land degradation in the Mediterranean Basin is clearly connected to the resilience of perturbed ecosystems, contributing to land abandonment, recurrent fires and biodiversity loss, with the prevalence of secondary shrublands that tend to occupy large areas. This is the case of Cistus ladanifer shrublands, one of the most widespread shrub communities in the Iberian Peninsula and a poor, uniform and resilient system. Here, we analyse the impact of several management practices in the recovery of territories largely occupied by this shrubland. We tested “non-intervention”, “cut”, “fire”, “mechanical mobilisation” and “pasture” in 100 m2 plots of Cistus ladaniferus L., in Central Portugal, and followed them from 1993. Flora were analysed using Braun–Blanquet's methodology and the plots were compared with hierarchical cluster analysis and PCA. An ANOVA analysis was also performed to investigate differences in management practices, both between plots and between two periods of time. The results show that extensive grazing or continuous cut have a high impact on plant diversity and community structure, with extensive grazing being the best way to improve plant diversity in a short period of time, using fewer resources.

Best management practices to face degraded territories occupied by Cistus ladanifer shrublands – Portugal case study

Musarella CM;
2015-01-01

Abstract

Land degradation in the Mediterranean Basin is clearly connected to the resilience of perturbed ecosystems, contributing to land abandonment, recurrent fires and biodiversity loss, with the prevalence of secondary shrublands that tend to occupy large areas. This is the case of Cistus ladanifer shrublands, one of the most widespread shrub communities in the Iberian Peninsula and a poor, uniform and resilient system. Here, we analyse the impact of several management practices in the recovery of territories largely occupied by this shrubland. We tested “non-intervention”, “cut”, “fire”, “mechanical mobilisation” and “pasture” in 100 m2 plots of Cistus ladaniferus L., in Central Portugal, and followed them from 1993. Flora were analysed using Braun–Blanquet's methodology and the plots were compared with hierarchical cluster analysis and PCA. An ANOVA analysis was also performed to investigate differences in management practices, both between plots and between two periods of time. The results show that extensive grazing or continuous cut have a high impact on plant diversity and community structure, with extensive grazing being the best way to improve plant diversity in a short period of time, using fewer resources.
2015
Landscape management, Cistus ladanifer, shrublands, fire, cut, grazing, Mediterranean ecosystems
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12318/60514
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