Effects of disturbances in a subalpine forest on its structural indicators and bird diversity
- Małgorzata Bujoczek,
- Judyta Rybicka,
- Leszek Bujoczek
Due to harsh climatic conditions, a limited number of tree species, and a predominantly single-story structure, subalpine forests are characterized by low faunal diversity. While the habitats of species associated with this altitudinal zone are strongly modified by abiotic and biotic factors, the forest management procedures implemented in the aftermath of disturbances typically focus on sanitary hazards and economic losses rather than benefits to biodiversity. The study involved three areas in different stages of forest development resulting from natural disturbances: mature (closed undisturbed stands), break-up (stands with ongoing break-up processes), and growing-up (stands with advanced post-disturbance regeneration). Forest structural indicators for each stage were evaluated on sample plots. A bird census was conducted during breeding and non-breeding seasons to determine species composition, density, and ecological groups (nesting guilds). Actual species diversity, the maximum ShannonWiener diversity index, and the evenness index were calculated for each forest development stage. Finally, similarity indices were computed to compare the various stages in terms of bird species. The processes of stand mortality, deadwood accumulation, and regeneration initiation were the driving forces for the development of new habitat conditions with a substantial expansion of potential nesting and foraging sites and shelters. The forest structural indicators were greatly varied. The mature stage revealed the highest density of breeding bird pairs, but the species composition was simplified, with the lowest evenness indicator. The largest number of nesting bird species was found in the break-up stage. During the non-breeding season, the break-up stage was not preferred by birds; the greatest number of species was observed in the growing-up stage, and the highest density in the mature stage. The bird species composition and similarity indices showed substantial differences between the various stages of forest development. Given the continuity of forest development processes and the related changes, it appears that the various development stages should not be viewed as more or less desirable than others from a conservation perspective. The findings show benefits to biodiversity brought about by disturbances in subalpine forests and the importance of each stage. Thus, management practices should be modified to better focus on the protection of the microsites created by disturbances, which are sparse in undisturbed stands.
- Record ID
- Journal series
- Ecological Indicators, ISSN 1470-160X, e-ISSN 1872-7034
- Issue year
- Publication size in sheets
- Article number
- Keywords in English
- Avian habitat, Biodiversity, Bird nesting guilds, Deadwood, Ecological requirements, Forest dynamics, Forest gaps, Strictly protected area
- ASJC Classification
- ; ;
- DOI:10.1016/j.ecolind.2020.106126 Opening in a new tab
- https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1470160X20300637?via%3Dihub Opening in a new tab
- (en) English
- File: 1
- Effects of disturbances in a subalpine forest on its structural indicators and bird diversity, File 1-s2.0-S1470160X20300637-main.pdf / 1 MB
- Effects of disturbances in a subalpine forest on its structural indicators and bird diversity
- publication date: 14-08-2020
Effects of disturbances in a subalpine forest on its structural indicators and bird diversity, File 1-s2.0-S1470160X20300637-main.pdf / 1 MB
- Score (nominal)
- Score source
- Publication indicators
- = 6; : 2018 = 1.813; : 2019 = 4.229 (2) - 2019=4.968 (5)
- Additional fields
- Finansowanie: This study was financed by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Republic of Poland.
- Wkład autorów: Małgorzata Bujoczek: Conceptualization, Methodology, Formal analysis, Investigation, Writing - review & editing, Visualization, Project administration. Judyta Rybicka: Formal analysis, Investigation, Writing - review & editing. Leszek Bujoczek: Conceptualization, Methodology, Formal analysis, Investigation, Writing - review & editing, Visualization.
- Uniform Resource Identifier
* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or PerishOpening in a new tab system.