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Impacts of Forest Fire on Understory Species Diversity in Canary Pine Ecosystems on the Island of La Palma

Title data

Weiser, Frank ; Sauer, Anna ; Gettueva, Daria ; Field, Richard ; Irl, Severin D. H. ; Vetaas, Ole ; Chiarucci, Alessandro ; Hoffmann, Samuel ; Fernández-Palacios, José María ; Otto, Rüdiger ; Jentsch, Anke ; Provenzale, Antonello ; Beierkuhnlein, Carl:
Impacts of Forest Fire on Understory Species Diversity in Canary Pine Ecosystems on the Island of La Palma.
In: Forests. Vol. 12 (2021) Issue 12 . - No. 1638.
ISSN 1999-4907
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/f12121638

Abstract in another language

Forest fires are drivers of spatial patterns and temporal dynamics of vegetation and biodiversity. On the Canary Islands, large areas of pine forest exist, dominated by the endemic Canary Island pine, Pinus canariensis C. Sm. These mostly natural forests experience wildfires frequently. P. canariensis is well-adapted to such impacts and has the ability to re-sprout from both stems and branches. In recent decades, however, anthropogenically caused fires have increased, and climate change further enhances the likelihood of large forest fires. Through its dense, long needles, P. canariensis promotes cloud precipitation, which is an important ecosystem service for the freshwater supply of islands such as La Palma. Thus, it is important to understand the regeneration and vegetation dynamics of these ecosystems after fire. Here, we investigated species diversity patterns in the understory vegetation of P. canariensis forests after the large 2016 fire on the southern slopes of La Palma. We analyzed the effect of fire intensity, derived from Sentinel-2 NDVI differences, and of environmental variables, on species richness (alpha diversity) and compositional dissimilarity (beta diversity). We used redundancy analysis (dbRDA), Bray–Curtis dissimilarity, and variance partitioning for this analysis. Fire intensity accounted for a relatively small proportion of variation in alpha and beta diversity, while elevation was the most important predictor. Our results also reveal the important role of the endemic Lotus campylocladus ssp. hillebrandii (Christ) Sandral & D.D.Sokoloff for understory diversity after fire. Its dominance likely reduces the ability of other species to establish by taking up nutrients and water and by shading the ground. The mid- to long-term effects are unclear since Lotus is an important nitrogen fixer in P. canariensis forests and can reduce post-fire soil erosion on steep slopes.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Institutions of the University: Faculties
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Chair Biogeography
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Chair Biogeography > Chair Biogeography - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Carl Beierkuhnlein
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Professor Disturbance Ecology
Faculties > Faculty of Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences > Department of Earth Sciences > Professor Disturbance Ecology > Professor Disturbance Ecology - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Anke Jentsch
Research Institutions
Research Institutions > Research Centres
Research Institutions > Research Centres > Bayreuth Center of Ecology and Environmental Research- BayCEER
Graduate Schools
Graduate Schools > Elite Network Bavaria
Graduate Schools > Elite Network Bavaria > Global Change Ecology
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 500 Science > 550 Earth sciences, geology
500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)
Date Deposited: 23 Feb 2022 08:26
Last Modified: 23 Feb 2022 08:26
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/68731