Predicting abundance and diversity of tree-related microhabitats in Central European montane forests from common forest attributes

Predicting abundance and diversity of tree-related microhabitats in Central European montane forests from common forest attributes

https://ift.tt/2IsO6uA

Publication date: 15 January 2019

Source: Forest Ecology and Management, Volume 432

Author(s): Thomas Asbeck, Patrick Pyttel, Julian Frey, Jürgen Bauhus

Abstract

The continued provision of old-growth elements in forest landscapes is a critical factor for biodiversity conservation in Central Europe. A well-established method for predicting the potential of forests to maintain biodiversity is to quantify tree-related microhabitat structures (TreMs). Our aim was to predict the TreM abundance and diversity for collectives of TreM-bearing trees; here 15 large trees per plot that were preselected by the largest crown sizes using remote sensing information. TreMs were inventoried on 2085 living trees across 139 plots (each 1 ha) in montane forests of the Black Forest, southwest Germany according to a detailed catalogue comprising 64 different TreM structures. We tested the influence of forest management, forest cover in the surrounding landscape (25 km radius), forest type, the number of standing dead trees, altitude and mean diameter at breast height (DBH) on the abundance and diversity of TreMs on living trees. All plots are managed or have been recently (20–40 yrs) abandoned from management. Generalized linear models (GLM) were used to identify the drivers of abundance and diversity of TreMs. The abundance of TreMs borne by the 15 large trees per plot is greater on plots located at higher altitudes. Increasing mean DBH leads to significantly higher abundance and diversity of TreMs. Groups of TreM-bearing trees in monospecific coniferous forests have the highest abundance but those in mixed-coniferous-broadleaved forests have the greatest diversity of TreMs. The occurrences of 11 out of 64 specific TreM structures were related to forest management, forest type, altitude or mean DBH. Large branch holes and buttress cavities increased with mean DBH and were found more frequently in mixed-coniferous-broadleaved forests than in the other forest types. The abundance of epiphytes on TreM bearing trees increased with altitude. This study demonstrates that the average abundance and diversity of TreMs can be predicted with readily available forest attributes. Additionally, the occurrence of specific TreMs could be described with the variation in these selected forest attributes.

Superforest

via ScienceDirect Publication: Forest Ecology and Management https://ift.tt/2zaqiu8

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