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Fernandez-Olalla M.,Technical University of Madrid | Martinez-Jauregui M.,CIFOR INIA. Ctra | Perea R.,Technical University of Madrid | Perea R.,Stanford University | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Arid Environments | Year: 2016

Much of the biodiversity in the Mediterranean region depends upon extensive livestock rearing. However, this activity is decreasing, especially in arid environments, where considerable biodiversity loss is expected in the near future. Meanwhile, wild ungulate populations are regaining long lost territories and densities. The question arises as to how far wild ungulates could substitute the ecological role traditionally played by extensive livestock. This study focuses on the effect of an exotic wild ungulate, the aoudad (Ammotragus lervia), on the woody vegetation of a semiarid protected area in Southeast Spain where it was introduced in 1970. Forty-five field surveys provided information on the effect of browsing on 92 woody plant species and on the aoudad's feeding behavior. Small shrubs were the most preferred species and showed, on average, higher levels of browsing damage. However, browsing intensity was low in broadleaved trees and negligible in conifers. Highly preferred and sparse shrub species might be severely affected by medium to high aoudad densities. The aoudad could become an opportunity for arid environments that lack native wild ungulates and traditional livestock grazing, since it could partially fulfill most ecological roles played by livestock. However, it could also become a threat should it become overabundant. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd Source


Iturritxa E.,Neiker | Ganley R.J.,New Zealand Forest Research Institute | Raposo R.,CIFOR INIA. Ctra | Garcia-Serna I.,Neiker | And 3 more authors.
Forest Pathology | Year: 2013

Pitch canker, caused by Fusarium circinatum, and Diplodia shoot blight, caused by Diplodia pinea, are both damaging to pines (Pinus spp.) grown in plantations throughout the world, including Spain. To assess the potential for interspecific differences in susceptibility to contribute to the management of pitch canker and Diplodia shoot blight in the Atlantic region of Spain, the present study was undertaken to characterize the susceptibility of six pine species (P. sylvestris, P. nigra, P. pinaster, P. radiata, P. halepensis and P. pinea) and Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) to F. circinatum and D. pinea. Based on inoculations of 2-year-old trees, Ps. menziesii, P. pinea and P. nigra were the most resistant to F. circinatum, with lesion lengths ranging from 3.7 to 21.5 mm, 2.2 to 12.6 mm and 2.8 to 30.9 mm, respectively. At the other extreme, Pinus radiata was the most susceptible, sustaining lesions that ranged from 8.5 to 74.8 mm in length. Pinus sylvestris, P. pinaster and P. halepensis showed an intermediate response to F. circinatum. Broadly similar results were observed in inoculations with D. pinea, with Ps. menziesii being relatively resistant and P. radiata being highly susceptible. Consistent with these results, field surveys revealed no pitch canker in stands of Ps. menziesii and low severity of Diplodia shoot blight, whereas P. radiata was severely affected by both diseases. Our findings suggest that selection of appropriate species can greatly reduce the risk of damage from two important canker diseases affecting pine plantations in the Atlantic region of Spain. Furthermore, intraspecific variation in susceptibility implies that selection may allow for the enhancement of resistance in otherwise susceptible species. © 2013 Blackwell Verlag GmbH. Source


Ledo A.,Technical University of Madrid | Condes S.,Technical University of Madrid | Alberdi I.,CIFOR INIA. Ctra
Journal of Mountain Science | Year: 2012

Cloud forests are unusual and fragile habitats, being one of the least studied and least understood ecosystems. The tropical Andean dominion is considered one of the most significant places in the world as regards biological diversity, with a very high level of endemism. The biodiversity was analysed in an isolated remnant area of a tropical montane cloud forest known as the "Bosque de Neblina de Cuyas", in the North of the Peruvian Andean range. Composition, structure and dead wood were measured or estimated. The values obtained were compared with other cloud forests. The study revealed a high level of forest biodiversity, although the level of biodiversity differs from one area to another: in the inner areas, where human pressure is almost inexistent, the biodiversity values increase. The high species richness and the low dominance among species bear testimony to this montane cloud forest as a real enclave of biodiversity. © 2012 Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Source

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