Exploring the links between forest transition and landscape changes in the Mediterranean. Does forest recovery really lead to better landscape quality?

Details

Serval ID
serval:BIB_1F3412DE6396
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
Publication sub-type
Case report (case report): feedback on an observation with a short commentary.
Collection
Publications
Title
Exploring the links between forest transition and landscape changes in the Mediterranean. Does forest recovery really lead to better landscape quality?
Journal
Agroforestry Systems
Author(s)
Marull Joan, Otero Iago, Stefanescu Constantí, Tello Enric, Miralles Marta, Coll Francesc, Pons Manel, Diana Giovanna L.
ISSN
0167-4366
1572-9680
Publication state
Published
Issued date
08/2015
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Volume
89
Number
4
Pages
705-719
Language
english
Abstract
A growing number of studies argue that forest transition should be enhanced by policymakers given its potential benefits, for instance in slowing climate change through carbon sequestration. Yet the effects of forest transition in landscape heterogeneity and biodiversity remain poorly understood. In this paper we explore the relationships between the forest
transition and the landscape changes occurred in a Mediterranean mountain area. Historical land-use maps were built from cadastral cartography (1854; 1956; 2012). Metrics on land-cover change, landscape structure, and landscape functioning were calculated. Multiyear data on butterfly assemblages from two transects (1994–2012) was used as indicator of landuse
change effects on biodiversity. Results show a forest expansion process in former cereal fields, vineyards and pasturelands along with rural outmigration and land abandonment. Such forest transition involved large changes in landscape structure and functioning. As peasant management of integrated agrosilvopastoral systems disappeared, landscape became less diverse. Even if forest area is now larger than in mid-nineteenth century, ecological connectivity among woodland did not substantially improve. Instead, ecological connectivity across
open habitats has greatly decreased as cereal fields, vineyards, meadows and pasturelands have almost disappeared. Butterfly assemblages under changing land-uses highlights the importance of agro-forest mosaics not only for these species but for biodiversity at large in the last decades. Our work emphasizes that conservation of landscapes with a long history of human use needs to take into account the role of humans in shaping ecological features and biodiversity. Hence the suitability of forest transitions should be critically examined in relation to context and policy objectives.
Web of science
Create date
14/07/2020 13:38
Last modification date
14/07/2020 13:38
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