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Identification of zones with high potential for biological diversity on dormant forested landslides

Authors
  • Tracz, Wiktor1
  • Ciurzycki, Wojciech2
  • Zaniewski, Piotr2
  • Kwaśny, Łukasz1
  • Marciszewska, Katarzyna2
  • Mozgawa, Jerzy1
  • 1 Warsaw University of Life Sciences – SGGW, Department of Geomatics and Land Management, Faculty of Forestry, 159 Nowoursynowska str., bld. 34, Warsaw, 02-776, Poland , Warsaw (Poland)
  • 2 Warsaw University of Life Sciences – SGGW, Department of Forest Botany, Faculty of Forestry, 159 Nowoursynowska str., bld. 34, Warsaw, 02-776, Poland , Warsaw (Poland)
Type
Published Article
Journal
European Journal of Forest Research
Publisher
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Publication Date
Mar 18, 2019
Volume
138
Issue
3
Pages
363–373
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s10342-019-01170-w
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

Landslides and erosion processes cause a high level of morphological diversity which, over the course of time, results in an increased level of forest species and habitat biodiversity. According to the principles of landscape ecology, information concerning points of convergence—understood as transition zones between elementary parts of a slope—could be interpreted as a surrogate for biodiversity. To recognize locations of land surface disruption, points of convergence derived from a high-resolution digital elevation model (DEM) were used in the research. It was assumed that relationships exist between landslide geodiversity and biodiversity and that from the DEM it is possible to select bare-earth surface structures where points of convergence can be identified. In order to verify this hypothesis, indicators of biodiversity such as richness of plant species and species diversity were checked. Based on the spatial distribution of points of convergence, locations of sample plots were planned and these indicators were verified during fieldwork. Samples were taken both in areas with a high concentration of points of convergence and in areas with a low concentration (or absence) of points of convergence. The results show that species diversity in the areas having a high concentration of points of convergence was significantly higher than in the areas having a low concentration of points of convergence. The proposed method allows the selection of parts of forested landslides that have the potential to develop a high level of biological diversity; it thus supports the management of areas of forest ecosystems with high levels of biodiversity within the scope of a cutting system. This may entail avoiding the traversal of areas that potentially possess high biological diversity with skid roads, preserving parts of these areas with thick vegetation for forest game purposes or leaving predominant and dead trees. The proposed method may also be used in scientific research into processes of biodiversity appearing on forested landslides.

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