To preserve biodiversity in forest ecosystems, important features were studied: stand structure, tree species diversity, deadwood amounts and microhabitats. Microhabitats (hereafter MHs) have been widely recognized as important substrates and structures useful for biodiversity conservation in forest ecosystems. Therefore, they can be used as indicator for describing forest naturalness. Most studies on the density and diversity of MHs have been done in forest ecosystems of Central Europe, while information on the occurrence of MHs in Mediterranean mountainous forests is poor. In this study, we investigated traits of different MHs on living trees and deadwood components in seven unmanaged forest stands in Apennines (Italy), characterized by different forest structures. We focused on the relationships between diversity and abundance of MHs, the structural traits of forests and the time since the last forest management operation. Among the investigated stand, 2598 living trees, 467 standing dead trees and snags, and 1237 lying deadwood pieces were analysed, counting the occurrence of MHs. We evaluated the amount of each single MH and the total number of MHs occurring on the different forest components surveyed, verifying which forest structural traits influenced the amounts and types of MHs, considering also the time since the last disturbance. The structural and dendrometric variables related to each component were scattered to each other and a generalized linear mixed model was used to forecast the abundance of MHs (N/ha) on the basis of several predictors. Diameter at breast height (DBH) influenced the abundance and diversity of MHs, but also the time since the last forest management operation had an important role, significantly affecting the probability that MHs could be formed in a long-term perspective. Moreover, the combination of predictors ‘DBH’ and ‘Years since the last harvest’ produced a better model than that one in which the two variables were kept separate. This study provides useful information to land managers committed to forestry practices based on sustainable forest management and biodiversity conservation.
|Titolo:||Factors affecting the occurrence of microhabitats in unmanaged forests|
|Data di pubblicazione:||Being printed|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|