Using inventory variables for practical biodiversity assessment in plantation stands
Aim of study: Practically and simply assessing biodiversity by using inventory variables in four types of forest plantation stands (mixed and pure) including species such are chestnut, blue gum and maritime pine.
Area of study: Northwest Portugal in Vale do Sousa (14,840 ha), which is 97% covered with plantation forests.
Material and methods: Simulated data, from 90-year stand-level forest management planning, were considered using three indicators: tree species (number of different species and species origin—native or exotic), mean diameter at breast height (DBH), and shrub biomass. Two shrub regeneration types (fully regenerated by seed and fully regenerated by resprouting), and three site quality conditions were also considered.
Main results: Mean biodiversity scores varied between very low (10.13) in pure blue gum stands on lowest-quality sites with shrub regeneration by seed, and low (29.85) in mixed stands with a dominance of pine, on best-quality sites with shrub regeneration by resprouting. Site quality and shrub regeneration type significantly affected all biodiversity scores in mixed stands dominated by pine and pure chestnut stands, while less affected pure blue gum stands and mixed stands dominated by blue gum.
Research highlights: The considered biodiversity indicators cover the major biodiversity aspects and allow biodiversity assessment over time. The findings are relevant for biodiversity conservation and fire protection management.
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