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Title: Factors affecting the quantity and type of tree-related microhabitats in mediterranean mountain forests of high nature value
Authors: Marziliano, Pasquale A.
Antonucci, Serena
Tognetti, Roberto
Marchetti, Marco
Chirici, Gherardo
Corona, Piermaria 
Lombardi, Fabio
Journal: IFOREST 
Issue Date: 2021
Tree-related microhabitats (hereafter TreMs) are structures occurring on trees, such as rot holes, cavities, large nests, mould, fruiting bodies and myce-lia of decomposer fungi. TreMs have been widely recognized as important sub-strates and structures useful for biodiversity conservation in forest ecosys-tems, and they can be used as indicators for describing and monitoring forest naturalness. However, most studies on the occurrence of TreMs have been mainly done in forest ecosystems of Central Europe, while less research has been conducted in Mediterranean mountain forests. In this study, we investigated the diversity and abundance of 23 types of TreMs on living trees and on deadwood in seven Mediterranean mountains unmanaged forests located in the Apennines (Italy). The abundance of TreMs was evaluated by counting the number of TreMs per tree, while the diversity of TreMs was evaluated by means of the Shannon-Wiener index. We focused on the relationships between diversity and abundance of TreMs, and tree size (e.g., diameter, height, vol-ume), and the time since the last harvest. Among the investigated stands, 2612 living trees, 457 standing dead trees and snags, and 1247 lying deadwood pieces were analysed. For living trees, a generalized linear mixed model was applied to test the effect of several variables on the abundance of TreMs per tree. Diameter at breast height (DBH) of tree stems influenced the abundance and diversity of TreMs. The time since the last harvest also significantly affected the probability that TreMs could be formed in a long-term perspec-tive. The interaction of the predictors “DBH2” and “Years since the last har-vest” generated a better model than the one in which the two variables were kept separate. Indeed, these two factors together would better represent the transition of a previously managed forest to a more natural state over time. This study might provide useful information to land managers committed to forestry practices towards sustainable management and biodiversity conserva-tion, especially referring to survey and inventory of forests of high nature value.
ISSN: 1971-7458
DOI: 10.3832/ifor3568-014
Rights: CC0 1.0 Universal
Appears in Collections:A1. Articolo in rivista

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