Modelling bird species richness with neural networks for forest

Assu Gil-Tena, Cristina Vega-García, Lluís Brotons, Santiago Saura

Abstract


For preserving biodiversity of European-Mediterranean forest ecosystems in current and future scenarios of global change by means of sustainable forest management it is necessary to determine how environment and forest characteristics correlate with biodiversity. For this purpose, neural networks were used to model forest bird species richness as a function of environment and forest structure and composition at the 1x1 km scale in Catalonia (NE Spain). Univariate and multivariate models respectively allowed exploring individual variable response and obtaining a parsimonious (ecologically meaningful) and accurate neural network. Forest area (with a canopy cover above 5%), mean forest canopy cover, mean annual temperature and summer precipitation were the best predictors of forest bird species richness. The resultant multivariate network had a good generalization capacity that failed however in the locations with highest species richness. Additionally, those forests with different degrees of canopy closure that were more mature and presented a more diverse tree species composition were also associated with higher bird species richness. This allowed us to provide management guidelines for forest planning in order to promote avian diversity in this European-Mediterranean region.

Keywords


global change, fires, forest biodiversity, forest landscape composition and structure, forest planning, landscape diversity

Full Text:

PDF

References


Alcázar J., Palau A., Vega-García C., 2008. A neural net model for environmental flow estimation at the Ebro River Basin, Spain. J Hydrol 349, 44-55.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2007.10.024

Archaux F., Bakkaus N., 2007. Relative impact of stand structure, tree composition and climate on mountain bird communities. Forest Ecol Manag 247, 72-79.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2007.04.014

Barbaro L., Pontcharraud F.V., Vetillard F., Guyon D., Jactel H., 2005. Comparative responses of bird, carabid, and spider assemblages to stand and landscape diversity in maritime pine plantation forests. Écoscience 12(1), 110-121.
http://dx.doi.org/10.2980/i1195-6860-12-1-110.1

Blondel J., Aronson J., 1999. Biology and wildlife of the Mediterranean region. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK. 328 pp.

Blondel J., Farré H., 1988. The convergent trajectories of bird communities along ecological successions in European forests. Oecologia 75, 83-93.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF00378818

Bowen M.E., Mcalpine C.A., House A.P.N., Smith G.C., 2007. Regrowth forests on abandoned agricultural land: a review of their habitat values for recovering forest fauna. Biol Conserv 140, 273-296.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2007.08.012

Bravo-Oviedo A., Kindermann G., 2004. Modelización de sistemas ecológicos mediante redes neuronales. Cuadernos de la Sociedad Española de Ciencias Forestales 18, 311-316.

Bridle J.S., 1990. Probabilistic interpretation of feedforward classification network outputs, with relationships to statistical pattern recognition. In: Neuro-computing: algorithms, architectures and applications (Fougelman-Soulie F., Herault J., eds). Springer-Verlag, Berlin. pp.227-236.

Brotons L., Herrando S., 2001. Reduced bird occurrence in pine forest fragments associated with road proximity in a Mediterranean agricultural area. Landscape Urban Plan 57, 77-89.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0169-2046(01)00191-8

Brotons L., Herrando S., Martin J.L., 2004. Bird assemblages in forest fragments within Mediterranean mosaics created by wild fires. Landscape Ecol 19, 663-675.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10980-005-0165-2

Camprodon J., 2001. Tratamientos forestales y conservación de la fauna vertebrada. In: Conservación de la biodiversidad y gestión forestal. Su aplicación en la fauna vertebrada (Camprodon J., Plana E., eds). Edicions Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona. pp. 135-179.

Camprodon J., Brotons L., 2006. Effects of undergrowth clearing on the bird communities of the Northwestern Mediterranean Coppice Holm oak forests. Forest Ecol Manag 221, 72-82.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2005.10.044

Carrascal L.M., Díaz L., 2003. Asociación entre distribución continental y regional. Análisis con la avifauna forestal y de medios arbolados de la península ibérica. Graellsia 59, 179-207.
http://dx.doi.org/10.3989/graellsia.2003.v59.i2-3.241

De Dios V., Fischer C., Colinas C., 2007. Climate change effects on mediterranean forests and preventive measures. New Forest 33, 29-40.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11056-006-9011-x

Department Of Environment And Housing, 2007. Cartografia del Departament de Medi Ambient i Habitage en format SIG - Miramon [On line]. Available from http://mediambient.gencat.cat/cat/el_departament/cartografia [Downloaded: September 2007].



Díaz L., 2006. Influences of forest type and forest structure on bird communities in oak and pine woodlands in Spain. Forest Ecol Manag 223, 54-65.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2005.10.061

Donald P.F., Fuller R.J., 1998. Ornithological atlas data: a review of uses and limitations. Bird Study 45, 129-145.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00063659809461086

Estrada J., Pedrocchi V., Brotons L., Herrando S. (eds), 2004. Atles dels ocells nidificants de Catalunya 1999-2002. Institut Català d'Ornitologia (ICO)/Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, España. 638 pp.

Fahlman S.E., Lebiere C., 1990. The cascade-correlation learning architecture. Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems, Vol. 2. Morgan Kaufmann, San Francisco, CA, USA. 13 pp.

Fahrig L., Rytwinski T., 2009. Effects of roads on animal abundance: an empirical review and synthesis. Ecol Soc 14(1), 21. [On line] URL: http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol14/iss1/art21/



Fearer T.M., Prisley S.P., Stauffer D.F., Keyser P.D., 2007. A method for integrating the breeding bird survey and forest inventory and analysis databases to evaluate forest bird-habitat relationships at multiple spatial scales. Forest Ecol Manag 243, 128-143.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2007.02.016

García Fernández F., García Esteban L., De Palacios P., Navarro N., Conde M., 2008 Prediction of standard particleboard mechanical properties utilizing an artificial neural network and subsequent comparison with a multivariate regression model. Invest Agrar: Sist Recur For 17(2), 178-187.

Gil-Tena A., Brotons L., Saura S., 2009a. Mediterranean forest dynamics and forest bird distribution changes in the late 20th century. Global Change Biol 15, 474-485.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2486.2008.01730.x

Gil-Tena A., Brotons L., Saura S., 2009b. Efecto de la composición y la estructura del bosque en la riqueza de especies de aves forestales: implicaciones para la gestión forestal sostenible. Montes 97, 17-24.

Gil-Tena A., Saura S., Brotons L., 2007. Effects of forest composition and structure on bird species richness in a Mediterranean context: Implications for forest ecosystem management. Forest Ecol Manag 242, 470-476.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2007.01.080

González-Taboada F., Nores C., Álvarez M.A., 2007. Breeding bird species richness in Spain: assessing diversity hypothesis at various scales. Ecography 30, 241-250
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0906-7590.2007.04824.x

Gracia C., Burriel J.A., Ibàñez J.J., Mata T., Vayreda J. (eds), 2000-2004. Inventari Ecològic i Forestal de Catalunya. Obra completa. CREAF, Bellaterra, España.

Hobson K.A., Bayne E., 2000. Breeding bird communities in boreal forest of western Canada: consequences of «unmixing» the mixedwoods. Condor 102, 759-769.

Illera J.C., Atienza J.C., 1995. Foraging shifts by Blue Tit (Parus caeruleus) in relation to arthropod availability in mixed woodland during the spring-summer period. Ardeola 42, 39-48.

Koza J.R., 1993. Genetic Programming. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA. 818 pp.

Lindenmayer D.B., Margules C.R., Botkin D.B., 2000. Indicators of biodiversity for ecologically sustainable forest management. Conserv Biol 14, 941-950.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1523-1739.2000.98533.x

Madrigal A., 1994. Ordenación de montes arbolados. MAPA-ICONA. Madrid, España. 375 pp.

Ministerio De Fomento, 1999. Modelo digital del terreno 1:25000. Dirección General del Instituto Geográfico Nacional, Centro Nacional de Información Geográfica, Madrid.

Ministerio De Medio Ambiente, 1997-2007. Tercer Inventario Forestal Nacional. Dirección General de Conservación de la Naturaleza, Madrid.



Mitchell M.S., Rutzmoser S.H., Wigley T.B., Loehle C., Gerwin J.A., Keyser P.D., Lancia R.A., Perry R.W., Reynolds C.J., Thill R.E., Weih R., White D., Wood P.B., 2006. Relationships between avian richness and landscape structure at multiple scales using multiple landscapes. Forest Ecol Manag 221, 155-169.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2005.09.023

Monteil C., Deconchat M., Balent G., 2004. Simple neural network reveals unexpected patterns of bird species richness in forest fragments. Landscape Ecol 20, 513-527.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10980-004-3317-x

Moreira F., Russo D., 2007. Modelling the impact of agricultural abandonment and wildfires on vertebrate diversity in Mediterranean Europe. Landscape Ecol 22, 1461-1476.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10980-007-9125-3

Myers N., Mittermeier R.A., Mittermeier C.G., Da Fonseca G.A.B., Kent J., 2000. Biodiversity hotspots for conservation priorities. Nature 403, 853-858.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/35002501
PMid:10706275

NEURALWARE, 2009. NeuralWorks Predict®. The complete solution for neural data modeling. NeuralWare, Pittsburgh, PA, USA. 237 pp.

Ninyerola M., Pons X., Roure J.M., 2005. Atlas climático digital de la Península Ibérica. Metodología y aplicaciones en bioclimatología y geobotánica. Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, España. 44 pp.

Opdam P., Wascher D., 2004. Climate change meets habitat fragmentation: linking landscape and biogeographical scale levels in research and conservation. Biol Conserv 117, 285-297.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2003.12.008

Palahí M., Pukkala T., Pascual L., Trasobares A., 2004. Examining alternative landscape metrics in ecological forest planning: a case for capercaillie in Catalonia. Invest Agrar: Sist Recur For 13(3), 527-538.

Pautasso M., 2007. Scale dependence of the correlation between human population presence and vertebrate and plant species richness. Ecol Lett 10, 16-24.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1461-0248.2006.00993.x
PMid:17204113

Radford J.Q., Bennett A.F., Cheers G.J., 2005. Landscape-level thresholds of habitat cover for woodlanddependent birds. Biol Conserv 124, 317-337.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2005.01.039

Rumelhart D.E., Hinton G.E., Williams R.J., 1986. Learning internal representations by error propagation. In: Parallel distributed processing: explorations in the microstructure of cognition. Foundations (Rumelhart D.E., McClelland J.L., eds). MIT Press. Vol. 1. pp. 318-362.

Santos K.C., Pino J., Rodà F., Guirado M., Ribas J., 2008. Beyond the reserves: the role of non-protected rural areas for avifauna conservation in the area of Barcelona (NE of Spain). Landscape Urban Plan 84, 140-151.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2007.07.004

Saura S., Pascual-Hortal L., 2007. A new habitat availability index to integrate connectivity in landscape conservation planning: comparison with existing indices and application to a case study. Landscape Urban Plan 83, 91-103.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2007.03.005

Scarascia-Mugnozza G., Oswald H., Piussi P., Radoglou K., 2000. Forests of the Mediterranean region: gaps in knowledge and research needs. Forest Ecol Manag 132, 97-109.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0378-1127(00)00383-2

Sekercioglu C.H., 2006. Increasing awareness of avian ecological function. Trends Ecol Evol 21, 464-471.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2006.05.007
PMid:16762448

Seoane J., Bustamante J., Díaz-Delgado R., 2004. Competing roles for landscape, vegetation, topography and climate in predictive models of bird distribution. Ecol Model 171, 209-222.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2003.08.006

Suárez-Seoane S., Osborne P.E., Baudry J., 2002. Responses of birds of different biogeographic origins and habitat requirements to agricultural land abandonment in northern Spain. Biol Conserv 105, 333-344.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0006-3207(01)00213-0

Terradas J., Ibàñez J.J., Vayreda J., Espelta J.M., Ávila A., Gracia C., 2004. Els boscos de Catalunya. Estructura, dinàmica i funcionament. Documents dels Quaderns de Medi Ambient, 11. Departament de Medi Ambient i Habitatge, Generalitat de Catalunya, Barcelona, España. 182 pp.

Thuiller W., 2003. Biomod-optimizing predictions of species distributions and projecting potential future shifts under global change. Global Change Biol 9, 1353-1362.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2486.2003.00666.x

Thuiller W., Vayreda J., Pino J., Sabaté S., Lavorel S., Gracia C., 2003. Large-scale environmental correlates of forest tree distributions in Catalonia (NE Spain). Global Ecol Biogeogr 12, 313-325.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1466-822X.2003.00033.x

Torras O., Martín-Queller E., Saura S., 2009. Relating landscape structure, environment and management to biodiversity indicators estimated from forest inventory data in Catalonia (NE Spain). Invest Agrar: Sist Recur For 18(3), 322-337.

Torras O., Saura S., 2008. Effects of silvicultural treatments on forest biodiversity indicators in the Mediterranean. Forest Ecol Manag 255, 3322-3330.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2008.02.013

Turner M.G., 2005. Landscape Ecology: what is the state of the science? Annu Rev Ecol Evol S 36, 319-44.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev.ecolsys.36.102003.152614

Ukmar E., Battisti C., Luiselli L., Bologna M.A., 2007. The effects of fire on communities, guilds and species of breeding birds in burnt and control pinewoods in central Italy. Biodiv Conserv 16, 3287-3300.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10531-006-9126-6

Vega-García C., Chuvieco E., 2006. Applying local measures of spatial heterogeneity to Landsat-TM images for predicting wildfire occurrence in Mediterranean landscapes. Landscape Ecol 21, 595-605.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10980-005-4119-5

Vega-García C., Lee B.S., Woodard P.M., Titus S.J., 1996. Applying neural network technology to humancaused wildfire occurrence prediction. AI Applications 10(3), 9-18.

Venier L.A., Pearce J.L., 2005. Boreal bird community response to jack pine forest succession. Forest Ecol Manag 217, 19-36.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2005.05.058

Warren T.L., Betts M.G., Diamond A.W., Forbes G.J., 2005. The influence of local habitat and landscape composition on cavity-nesting birds in a forested mosaic. Forest Ecol Manag 214: 331-343.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2005.04.017

Werbos P.J., 1994. The roots of backpropagation: from ordered derivatives to neural networks and political forecasting. John Wiley & Sons, Inc, New York, USA. 319 pp.

Westphal M.I., Field S.A., Tyre A.J., Paton D., Possingham H.P., 2003. Effects of landscape pattern on bird species distribution in the Mt. Lofty Ranges, South Australia. Landscape Ecol 18, 413-426
http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/A:1026115807529

Yamaura Y., Katoh K., Fujita G., Higuchi H., 2005. The effect of landscape contexts on wintering bird communities in rural Japan. Forest Ecol Manag 216, 187-200.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2005.05.028




DOI: 10.5424/fs/201019S-9290

Webpage: www.inia.es/Forestsystems