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Testing the diversity hypothesis: Can structural diversity and habitat heterogeneity explain species diversity in temperate forests?

English title Testing the diversity hypothesis: Can structural diversity and habitat heterogeneity explain species diversity in temperate forests?
Applicant Bollmann Kurt
Number 146786
Funding scheme Project funding
Research institution Biodiversität und Naturschutzbiologie Eidg. Forschungsanstalt für Wald, Schnee und Landschaft WSL
Institution of higher education Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research - WSL
Main discipline Ecology
Start/End 01.07.2013 - 30.06.2016
Approved amount 237'779.00
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All Disciplines (4)

Discipline
Ecology
Botany
Agricultural and Forestry Sciences
Zoology

Keywords (10)

Cross-taxa covariation; LiDAR; Biodiversity indicators; Switzerland; Remote sensing; Conservation; Species diversity; Forest structure; NDVI; Habitat

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Die Artenvielfalt der Wälder wird massgebend durch deren Zusammensetzung und Struktur beeinflusst. Die horizontale und vertikale Bestandsstruktur und Einzelelemente wie alte Bäume und Totholz bieten ökologische Nischen für eine vielfältige Artenvielfalt. Rund 90 Prozent der Wälder werden forstlich genutzt, was zu einer verkürzten Entwicklungszeit und einer strukturellen Vereinheitlichung führt. Diese wirken sich häufig negativ auf die Vielfalt an Lebensräumen, ökologischen Nischen und Arten aus.
Lay summary

Inhalt und Ziele des Forschungsprojekts

Das generelle Ziel ist, die Beziehung zwischen struktureller Heterogenität und Artenvielfalt im Wald zu untersuchen und dabei neue Methoden der Flugzeug- und Satelliten-gestützten Fernerkundung (z.B. LiDAR und NDVI) einzusetzen. Damit wollen wir für den Laub- und den Nadelwald Strukturparameter entwickeln, welche das Vorkommen von verschiedenen Artengruppen (Vögel, Gefässpflanzen, Moose, Schnecken) in der Schweiz erklären und das Prognosepotenzial des Modells an einer weiteren Artengruppe überprüfen. Spezifisch werden wir (i) Parameter für strukturelle Lebensraumheterogenität mit der α- und β-Diversität von Mittelland- und Gebirgswäldern in Beziehung setzen, (ii) die gegenseitige Abhängigkeit zwischen Artengruppen untersuchen und testen, ob die resultierenden Strukturparameter die Artenvielfalt einer unabhängigen Artengruppe (Fledermäuse) vorhersagen können, und (iii) Schwellenwerte von wichtigen Parametern herleiten, um die Forstpraxis bei der Entwicklung einer nachhaltigen, multifunktionalen Waldbewirtschaftung zu unterstützen.

Wissenschaftliche und gesellschaftliche Relevanz des Projekts

Die kombinierte Anwendung von Boden-, Flugzeug- und Satelliten-gestützten Lebensraumdaten hat ein grosses Potenzial für die Biodiversitätsforschung. Dieses Vorgehen ermöglicht es uns erstmals, von der klein- bis zur grossräumigen Ebene strukturelle Parameter für die Verbreitung von artenreichen Lebensräumen zu entwickeln. Dazu ist der Wald besonders geeignet, weil er mit seiner dreidimensionalen komplexen Struktur den bisher verbreiteten, feldbasierten Erhebungsmethoden deutliche Grenzen gesetzt hat. Die Ergebnisse bilden eine wichtige Grundlage für ein verbessertes Lebensraummonitoring und erlauben die Entwicklung von Empfehlungen für die Forstpraxis hinsichtlich eines naturschutzfachlichen Waldmanagements.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 30.03.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
From field surveys to LiDAR: Shining a light on how bats respond to forest structure
Jérémy S.P. Froidevaux, Florian Zellweger, Kurt Bollmann, Gareth Jones, Martin K. Obrist (2016), From field surveys to LiDAR: Shining a light on how bats respond to forest structure, in Remote Sensing of Environment, 175(4), 242-250.
Assessing forest grouse habitat using LiDAR remote sensing: the potential of the new technology for grouse research
Kurt Bollmann, Florian Zellweger (2015), Assessing forest grouse habitat using LiDAR remote sensing: the potential of the new technology for grouse research, in Grouse News, 50, 27-27.
Disentangling the effects of climate, topography, soil and vegetation on stand-scale species richness in temperate forests
Zellweger Florian, Braunisch Veronika, Morsdorf Felix, Baltensweiler Andri, Abegg Meinrad, Roth Tobias, Bugmann Harald, Bollmann Kurt (2015), Disentangling the effects of climate, topography, soil and vegetation on stand-scale species richness in temperate forests, in Forest Ecology and Management, 249(1), 36-44.
Élaborer un plan d’échantillonnage acoustique fiable avec les logiciels «PRESENCE» et «GENPRES»
Froidevaux Jérémy S.P. (2015), Élaborer un plan d’échantillonnage acoustique fiable avec les logiciels «PRESENCE» et «GENPRES», in Le Vespère, 5, 333-344.
Optimizing passive acoustic sampling of bats in forests
Froidevaux Jeremy S. P., Zellweger Florian, Bollmann Kurt, Obrist Martin K. (2014), Optimizing passive acoustic sampling of bats in forests, in ECOLOGY AND EVOLUTION, 4(24), 4690-4700.
Environmental predictors of species richness in forest landscapes: abiotic factors versus vegetation structure
Florian Zellweger, Andri Baltensweiler, Christian Ginzler, Tobias Roth, Veronika Braunisch, Harald Bugmann, Kurt Bollmann, Environmental predictors of species richness in forest landscapes: abiotic factors versus vegetation structure, in Journal of Biogeography.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Prof. Dr. Harald Bugmann / ETH Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Prof. Dr. Nicholas C. Coops / Univ. British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver Canada (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Remote Sensing / WSL Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
School of Biological Sciences Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Hintermann & Weber AG Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Parc régional Chasseral Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Swiss Ornithological Institute Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Naturpark Thal Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Worshops in Ecology and Behaviour Individual talk LiDAR remote sensing of 3D habitat structure - novel opportunities for ecologists and biogeographers 26.04.2016 Bristol, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Zellweger Florian;
MSC/PhD seminar Talk given at a conference Patterns and processes of forest biodiversity - new insights from remotely sensed habitat structure 05.04.2016 WSL Birmensdorf, Switzerland Zellweger Florian; Bollmann Kurt;
Biology 16 - The Annual Swiss Conference on Ecology, Evolution, Systematics, Biogeography and Conservation Talk given at a conference Patterns and processes of forest biodiversity - new avenues provided by LiDAR remote sensing 10.02.2016 Lausanne, Switzerland Zellweger Florian;
Round Table Remote Sensing Labotaratories (RSL) / WSL Talk given at a conference Patterns and processes of forest biodiversity - New avenues provided by LiDAR remote sensing 13.01.2016 Birmensdorf, Switzerland Bollmann Kurt; Zellweger Florian;
International Grouse Symposium Talk given at a conference Assessing forest grouse habitat using LiDAR remote sensing: the potential of the new technology for grouse research 04.09.2015 Reykjavik, Iceland Bollmann Kurt; Braunisch Veronika;
IUFRO Landscape Ecology Conference: Sustaining ecosystem services in forest landscapes Talk given at a conference Environmental predictors of species richness in forest landscapes: Abiotic factors vs. vegetation structure 23.08.2015 Tartu, Estonia Zellweger Florian;
WSL and SLF Remote Sensing Lectures Talk given at a conference Using LiDAR remote sensing to study species-habitat relationships - methods and applications 30.06.2015 Birmensdorf, Switzerland Zellweger Florian; Bollmann Kurt; Morsdorf Felix;
DEG seminar Talk given at a conference LiDAR remote sensing for habitat assessments - data, methods and applications 18.03.2015 Birmensdorf, Switzerland Zellweger Florian; Bollmann Kurt;
Vogelwarte Kolloquium Talk given at a conference LiDAR remote sensing to study bird-habitat relationships: Methods and applications 12.03.2015 Sempach-Stadt, Switzerland Bollmann Kurt; Zellweger Florian;
Remote sensing for conservation Poster Environmental predictors of forest biodiversity ‒ the role of forest structure 22.05.2014 London, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Bollmann Kurt; Zellweger Florian;
French Bat Meeting Talk given at a conference Echantillonner les chauves-souris en forêts tempérées: où, quand, comment? 14.03.2014 Bourges, France Zellweger Florian;


Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
International visit (Hungary) at the Swiss National Forest Inventory Talk 10.05.2016 Birmensdorf, Switzerland Zellweger Florian;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: print media, online media Fledermäuse im Wald – LiDAR liefert neue Einblicke N+L Inside Rhaeto-Romanic Switzerland German-speaking Switzerland Western Switzerland Italian-speaking Switzerland 2016

Abstract

Evaluating the relative importance of structural habitat characteristics for the generation and maintenance of biological diversity is a fundamental challenge for understanding biodiversity patterns and processes. Particularly forest biodiversity is strongly influenced by structural diversity because the different strata between ground vegetation and canopy and the heterogeneity of forest stand structures promote species diversity by providing a large number of ecological niches. However, human intervention such as timber harvesting has shortened the succession cycles of most forests in Europe, and thus affected the structural richness and the variety of ecological niches at the stand scale. On the other hand, between-habitat-diversity can be enhanced by human interventions into forest landscapes. Thus, the integration of measures maintaining structural diversity is essential for developing guidelines for sustainable management of habitats and overall biodiversity. Methods and metrics are required to capture structural diversity from the local to the landscape scale, allowing for analysis of scale dependent species-habitat relationships. Nowadays, area-wide available remote sensing data which can be amended with traditional, spatially limited field sampling have the potential to fill this gap. These novel methods include the use of light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data which has been acquired nation-wide across Switzerland. In combination with habitat metrics derived from satellite images, LiDAR based variables of forest structure can be linked to species occurrence and diversity. This allows for area-wide assessments of species-habitat relationships across multiple spatial scales and at a level of detail that was previously not feasible. The wide range of species assessed in Switzerland within the National Biodiversity Monitoring Program (BDM), as well as more extensive cantonal species inventories provide a unique opportunity to apply latest developments in remote sensing to test whether structurally divers and heterogeneous forest stands and forest landscapes show higher indices of species diversity than homogeneous equivalents. The aim of this study is to develop widely applicable structural indicators of species diversity in lowland and mountain forests in Switzerland. In particular, we will (1) relate remotely sensed variables of habitat structure to a- and ß-diversity in lowland and mountain forests, (2) analyse co-variation between taxa and test whether the resulting structural indicators can predict species diversity of an independent taxonomic group (i.e. bats), and (3) derive variable thresholds to support forest management in terms of habitat improvement measures.
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