In order to improve the protection system to reduce the damage of biodiversity and protect broad-leaved Korean pine mixed forest, 64 forest farms from 6 Forestry Bureaus around Changbai Mountains Nature Reserve were investigated and analyzed. A total of 41 plants were selected as key protected plants, and felling area, cropland, mining area, highway, railway and residential area were considered as the disturbance factors. GAP and GIS spatial analysis were used to draw the indicator plant and disturbance intensity distribution maps. The results showed that the indicator species distribution was uneven. The indicator plant enrichment regions were located on the north western and southern slopes centered with Shengli and Lenggouzi forest farms of Quanyang County, respectively, and single distributions of the endemic plants were found in Baoshan, Henshan, Lenggouzi and Heishan forest farms. The different disturbance severities were observed in the different forest farms, among which the north part in Lushuihe and Baihe forest farms were severely disrupted. Two ecologically critical areas, Quanyang-Lushuihe-Baihe on the north slope of Changbai Mountains and the east part of Changbai County on the south slope, were determined based on the comprehensive analysis.
Land use is known to alter the nature of land-water interactions, but the potential effects of widespread forest management on headwaters in boreal regions remain poorly understood. We evaluated the importance of catchment land use, land cover, and local stream variables for macroinvertebrate community and functional trait diversity in 18 boreal headwater streams. Variation in macroinvertebrate metrics was often best explained by in-stream variables, primarily water chemistry (e.g. pH). However, variation in stream variables was, in turn, significantly associated with catchment-scale forestry land use. More specifically, streams running through catchments that were dominated by young (11-50 years) forests had higher pH, greater organic matter standing stock, higher abundance of aquatic moss, and the highest macroinvertebrate diversity, compared to streams running through recently clear-cut and old forests. This indicates that catchment-scale forest management can modify in-stream habitat conditions with effects on stream macroinvertebrate communities and that characteristics of younger forests may promote conditions that benefit headwater biodiversity.
Cites: Ecology. 2009 May;90(5):1227-4119537544
Cites: Environ Manage. 2011 Jan;47(1):28-3921132293
Accurate estimates of species richness are necessary to test predictions of ecological theory and evaluate biodiversity for conservation purposes. However, species richness is difficult to measure in the field because some species will almost always be overlooked due to their cryptic nature or the observer's failure to perceive their cues. Common measures of species richness that assume consistent observability across species are inviting because they may require only single counts of species at survey sites. Single-visit estimation methods ignore spatial and temporal variation in species detection probabilities related to survey or site conditions that may confound estimates of species richness. We used simulated and empirical data to evaluate the bias and precision of raw species counts, the limiting forms of jackknife and Chao estimators, and multispecies occupancy models when estimating species richness to evaluate whether the choice of estimator can affect inferences about the relationships between environmental conditions and community size under variable detection processes. Four simulated scenarios with realistic and variable detection processes were considered. Results of simulations indicated that (1) raw species counts were always biased low, (2) single-visit jackknife and Chao estimators were significantly biased regardless of detection process, (3) multispecies occupancy models were more precise and generally less biased than the jackknife and Chao estimators, and (4) spatial heterogeneity resulting from the effects of a site covariate on species detection probabilities had significant impacts on the inferred relationships between species richness and a spatially explicit environmental condition. For a real data set of bird observations in northwestern Alaska, USA, the four estimation methods produced different estimates of local species richness, which severely affected inferences about the effects of shrubs on local avian richness. Overall, our results indicate that neglecting the effects of site covariates on species detection probabilities may lead to significant bias in estimation of species richness, as well as the inferred relationships between community size and environmental covariates.
Changes in land use, climate and flow diversion are key drivers of river flow regime change that may eventually affect freshwater biodiversity and ecosystem functions. However, our knowledge is limited on how the functional features of stream organisms vary along the gradient of hydrological disturbance (i.e. flow regime changes) and how flow regimes mediate the functional features in lowland streams. We analyzed the functional traits of benthic diatoms (unicellular siliceous algae) that are most sensitive and tolerant to flow regime changes along a nationwide scale of 246 sites in Denmark. We combined RLQ and fourth-corner analyses to explore the co-variation between hydrological variables (R table) and species traits (Q table), constrained by the relative abundance of each species (L table) as observed in each of the sampling sites. Further, we examine the relationships between functional features (i.e., functional redundancy and diversity) and hydrological variables by multivariate statistical analyses. Results show that species turnover with displacement of sensitive species by tolerant species was the dominating process in benthic diatom communities during high flow disturbances. Functional features, as indicated by functional diversity and redundancy indices, were mediated mainly by high and low flow magnitude. Median daily flow magnitude shows a consistent positive relationship with functional redundancy and richness indices indicating that larger streams are more resilient to flow perturbations. In addition flow regime changes are less important than median daily flow magnitude and show inconsistent correlation to functional features likely due to the interaction of multiple environmental stressors. Our study highlights the robustness of trait-based approaches for identifying flow regime changes in streams, and strongly suggests that biodiversity conservation and water resource management should focus on protecting natural base flow in headwater streams and generally reduce flow regulation for sustaining stream ecosystems under future global changes.
Plant functional traits vary consistently along climate gradients and are therefore potential predictors of plant community response to climate change. We test this space-for-time assumption by combining a spatial gradient study with whole-community turf transplantation along temperature and precipitation gradients in a network of 12 grassland sites in Southern Norway. Using data on eight traits for 169 species and annual vegetation censuses of 235 turfs over 5 yr, we quantify trait-based responses to climate change by comparing observed community dynamics in transplanted turfs to field-parameterized null model simulations. Three traits related to species architecture (maximum height, number of dormant meristems, and ramet-ramet connection persistence) varied consistently along spatial temperature gradients and also correlated to changes in species abundances in turfs transplanted to warmer climates. Two traits associated with resource acquisition strategy (SLA, leaf area) increased along spatial temperature gradients but did not correlate to changes in species abundances following warming. No traits correlated consistently with precipitation. Our study supports the hypothesis that spatial associations between plant traits and broad-scale climate variables can be predictive of community response to climate change, but it also suggests that not all traits with clear patterns along climate gradients will necessarily influence community response to an equal degree.
Recent palaeogenetic studies have demonstrated the occurrence of preserved ancient DNA (aDNA) in various types of fossilised material. Environmental aDNA sequences assigned to modern species have been recovered from marine sediments dating to the Pleistocene. However, the match between the aDNA and the fossil record still needs to be evaluated for the environmental DNA approaches to be fully exploited. Here, we focus on foraminifera in sediments up to one thousand years old retrieved from the Hornsund fjord (Svalbard). We compared the diversity of foraminiferal microfossil assemblages with the diversity of aDNA sequenced from subsurface sediment samples using both cloning and high-throughput sequencing (HTS). Our study shows that 57% of the species archived in the fossil record were also detected in the aDNA data. However, the relative abundance of aDNA sequence reads and fossil specimens differed considerably. We also found a limited match between the stratigraphic occurrence of some fossil species and their aDNA sequences, especially in the case of rare taxa. The aDNA data comprised a high proportion of non-fossilised monothalamous species, which are known to dominate in modern foraminiferal communities of the Svalbard region. Our results confirm the relevance of HTS for studying past micro-eukaryotic diversity and provide insight into its ability to reflect fossil assemblages. Palaeogenetic studies including aDNA analyses of non-fossilised groups expand the range of palaeoceanographical proxies and therefore may increase the accuracy of palaeoenvironmental reconstructions.
One of the largest threats to biodiversity is land use change and habitat loss. Hollow oaks (Quercus spp. L.) are well-defined patches that are hotspots for biodiversity and red-listed species, but they are often rare and fragmented in the landscape. We investigated the effect of patch size, habitat quality, and isolation on functional groups and red-listed saproxylic beetles in hollow oaks (n = 40) in Norway. The groups were defined by host tree association, trophic grouping, and red-listed status. Habitat quality, represented by tree form was most important in explaining species richness for most groups. Patch size, represented by circumference and amount of dead branches, was most important in explaining abundance. Isolation, that is single oaks compared with oaks in groups, had a negative effect on the abundance of beetles feeding both on wood and fungi (xylomycethopagous), as well as on species associated with broadleaved trees (oak semi-specialists), but did not affect species richness. This indicates that at this scale and in this landscape, isolated oaks are as species rich and valuable for conservation as other oaks, although some functional groups may be more vulnerable to isolation than others. The red-listed species only responded to patch size, indicating that oaks with large circumference and many dead branches are especially important for red-listed species and for conservation.
Cites: Science. 2000 Mar 10;287(5459):1770-410710299