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Herrando S.,Institute Catala dOrnitologia | Herrando S.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | Anton M.,Institute Catala dOrnitologia | Brotons Ll.,Institute Catala dOrnitologia | And 3 more authors.
Ecosistemas | Year: 2016

The abandonment of traditional farmland practices in the mountain areas of the Mediterranean Basin is producing a general vegetation encroachment and a decrease on open habitats. The protected mountain areas of the LTER (Long Term Ecological Research) network are privileged zones to study in detail this process by means of long-term monitoring projects. In the particular case of the nodule LTER Montseny the impact of afforestation on birds is been monitorised during more than a decade in the framework of the Catalan Common Bird Survey. This scheme has allowed developing indicators that determine the shifts in bird communities associated to the open and forest habitats of this natural park. In this work we used multispecies indicators based on the geometric means of yearly population indices to determine the change that, as a whole, the birds are undergoing in these environments. Results show that the impact of vegetation encroachment is noticeable in the populations of open-space species (44% population decrease between 2002 and 2014). Following these results, park managers, together with local socioeconomic stakeholders, are promoting practices to recover and improve open pastures. © 2016 Los Autores.

Camps D.,General Directorate for Environmental Policy | Villero D.,Center Tecnologic Forestal Of Catalonia Cemfor Ctfc | Ruiz-Olmo J.,Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food | Brotons L.,Center Tecnologic Forestal Of Catalonia Cemfor Ctfc
Mammalian Biology | Year: 2016

The objective of our study was to evaluate the hypothesis that the constraints on the expansion of the range of the common genet (Genetta genetta) in Europe are limitations derived from the species' patterns of habitat selection. From a sample of 2073 genet occurrence data and using species distribution models (SDM) built with Maxent, our results show that temperature-related variables were the main factor explaining the current distribution of the species. The maximum winter temperature was by far the most important environmental constraint of the presence of the species, with genets showing a preference for higher temperatures in the two coldest seasons of the year. Genets appeared also associated to Mediterranean zones, preferred mid-elevations and were more often present in habitats dominated by sclerophyllous vegetation. Our results stongly support the view that the influence of temperature is a major limiting factor that impedes the spread of the genet northwards and eastwards into continental Europe and limits its distribution. Nevertheless, the current spread of its colonization fronts could lead to future changes in its distribution, so it would seem that its expansion has not yet finished. © 2016 Deutsche Gesellschaft für Säugetierkunde.

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