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Ebooks on agriculture and the applied life sciences from CAB International

CABI Book Chapter

Biodiversity loss and conservation in fragmented forest landscapes: the forests of montane Mexico and temperate South America.

Book cover for Biodiversity loss and conservation in fragmented forest landscapes: the forests of montane Mexico and temperate South America.


This book is the result of an international collaborative research effort focusing on the tropical montane forests of Mexico and the temperate rain forests of southern South America. The over-all aim of the research was to investigate the impact of human activity on the key processes influencing biodiversity in fragmented forest landscapes, and to use the research results to develop practical tool...


Chapter 12 (Page no: 276)

Testing forest biodiversity indicators by assessing anthropogenic impacts along disturbance gradients.

Current efforts at sustainable forest management depend on the development of appropriate and effective indicators of forest biodiversity. While many such indicators have been proposed, few have been rigorously tested. To address this, forest structure, composition and soil characteristics were assessed along anthropogenic disturbance gradients in four study areas, namely Highland Chiapas and Central Veracruz (Mexico), and San Pablo de Tregua and Chiloé Island (Chile). Indicators selected for analysis included soil pH, organic matter content and bulk density; species richness; and the species composition of forest stands. Results indicated highly contrasting responses to disturbance in the four study areas. For example, in the Highlands of Chiapas, highly significant (P<0.001) correlations were obtained between basal area and both soil organic matter content and bulk density. A highly significant relationship between basal area and bulk density was also recorded in San Pablo de Tregua (P=0.001), but in this case the relationship was negative. No significant correlations between basal area and soil characteristics were recorded in the other study areas. With respect to species richness, the only significant correlation was recorded in Chiloé, which was positive and highly significant (P<0.001). With respect to tree composition, in the Highlands of Chiapas basal area was found to be positively correlated with the relative abundance of shade-tolerant mature trees (P=0.037), and the density of both mature and juvenile shade-tolerant trees (P=0.015 and 0.021, respectively). Similar results were obtained in Chiloé, but in San Pablo de Tregua no significant correlations were recorded. The lack of consistent responses suggests that none of the indicators appears to be applicable over a broad geographical area. In many cases, the indicators failed to be sensitive to variation in disturbance, and therefore appear to have low value for monitoring forest condition. This implies that individual indicator sets may need to be developed for each individual forest area of interest, and the goal of a set of easily measured, generally applicable indicators may be difficult to achieve.

Other chapters from this book

Chapter: 1 (Page no: 1) Introduction. Author(s): Newton, A. C.
Chapter: 2 (Page no: 14) Spatial and temporal patterns of forest loss and fragmentation in Mexico and Chile. Author(s): Echeverría, C. Cayuela, L. Manson, R. H. Coomes, D. A. Lara, A. Rey-Benayas, J. M. Newton, A. C.
Chapter: 3 (Page no: 43) Plant diversity in highly fragmented forest landscapes in Mexico and Chile: implications for conservation. Author(s): Rey-Benayas, J. M. Cayuela, L. González-Espinosa, M. Echeverría, C. Manson, R. H. Williams-Linera, G. Castillo, R. F. del Ramírez-Marcial, N. Muñiz-Castro, M. A. Blanco-Macías, A. Lara, A. Newton, A. C.
Chapter: 4 (Page no: 69) Fragmentation and edge effects on plant-animal interactions, ecological processes and biodiversity. Author(s): López-Barrera, F. Armesto, J. J. Williams-Linera, G. Smith-Ramírez, C. Manson, R. H.
Chapter: 5 (Page no: 102) Habitat fragmentation and reproductive ecology of Embothrium coccineum, Eucryphia cordifolia and Aextoxicon punctatum in southern temperate rainforests. Author(s): Smith-Ramírez, C. Rovere, A. E. Núñez-Ávila, M. C. Armesto, J. J.
Chapter: 6 (Page no: 120) Patterns of genetic variation in tree species and their implications for conservation. Author(s): Premoli, A. C. Castillo, R. F. del Newton, A. C. Bekessy, S. Caldiz, M. Martínez-Araneda, C. Mathiasen, P. Núñez-Ávila, M. C. Quiroga, P. Souto, C. Trujillo-Argueta, S.
Chapter: 7 (Page no: 158) Secondary succession under a slash-and-burn regime in a tropical montane cloud forest: soil and vegetation characteristics. Author(s): Castillo, R. F. del Blanco-Macías, A.
Chapter: 8 (Page no: 181) The impact of logging and secondary succession on the below-ground system of a cloud forest in Mexico. Author(s): Negrete-Yankelevich, S. Fragoso, C. Newton, A. C.
Chapter: 9 (Page no: 200) Applying succession models to the conservation of tropical montane forest. Author(s): Golicher, D. Newton, A. C.
Chapter: 10 (Page no: 223) Models of regional and local stand composition and dynamics of pine-oak forests in the Central Highlands of Chiapas (Mexico): theoretical and management implications. Author(s): Zavala, M. A. Galindo-Jaimes, L. González-Espinosa, M.
Chapter: 11 (Page no: 244) Process-based modelling of regeneration dynamics and sustainable use in species-rich rainforests. Author(s): Rüger, N. Armesto, J. J. Gutiérrez, A. G. Williams-Linera, G. Huth, A.
Chapter: 13 (Page no: 291) Fire challenges to conserving tropical ecosystems: the case study of Chiapas. Author(s): Román-Cuesta, R. M. Retana, J. Gracia, M.
Chapter: 14 (Page no: 314) Identification of priority areas for conservation in south-central Chile. Author(s): Wilson, K. A. Newton, A. C.
Chapter: 15 (Page no: 335) Restoration of forest ecosystems in fragmented landscapes of temperate and montane tropical Latin America. Author(s): González-Espinosa, M. Ramírez-Marcial, N. Newton, A. C. Rey-Benayas, J. M. Camacho-Cruz, A. Armesto, J. J. Lara, A. Premoli, A. C. Williams-Linera, G. Altamirano, A. Alvarez-Aquino, C. Cortés, M. Echeverría, C. Galindo-Jaimes, L. Muñiz-Castro, M. A. Núñez-Ávila, M. C. Pedraza, R. A. Rovere, A. E. Smith-Ramírez, C. Thiers, O. Zamorano, C.
Chapter: 16 (Page no: 370) Future scenarios for tropical montane and south temperate forest biodiversity in Latin America. Author(s): Miles, L. Newton, A. C. Alvarez-Aquino, C. Armesto, J. J. Castillo, R. F. del Cayuela, L. Echeverría, C. González-Espinosa, M. Lara, A. López-Barrera, F. Manson, R. H. Montoya-Gómez, G. Muñiz-Castro, M. A. Núñez-Ávila, M. C. Pedraza, R. A. Rey-Benayas, J. M. Rovere, A. E. Rüger, N. Smith-Ramírez, C. Souto, C. Williams-Linera, G.