Winners and losers of landscape changes over the last sixty years in one of the oldest and southernmost national parks of the European Alpine region: Ordesa and Monte Perdido

M.B. García, P. Errea, D. Gómez, M. Pizarro

Abstract


Traditional land-use decline in Mediterranean mountains is translating into extensive forest recovery and the loose of “cultural landscapes”. In this context, the management of semi-natural ecosystems plays a fundamental role for the future preservation of species and processes, particularly in protected areas, and managers need rigorous information for an integrative interpretation of the long-term and complex effects of land cover replacement. Here we analyze changes in the land cover structure of the Ordesa and Monte Perdido National Park and its peripheral protection zone, by comparing 7 types of patches from aerial photographs taken in 1956 and 2015. Then, we discuss how this process affected landscape diversity and two kinds of potential vulnerable plants. We found higher changes in the unprotected than protected areas, concentrated below the treeline in both cases, as a result of forest densification and strong reduction of anthropic and unvegetated areas. Total edge of patches decreased, as well as the number of patches, whereas mean patch size increased, indicating that patches merged and ecotones reduced. Shannon diversity index of the landscape decreased too, confirming a simplification of the system. Most Pyrenean endemic plants and threatened ones occur either on stable grasslands over the treeline, “winner” forests, or as rocky specialists irrespective of the land cover class. Therefore, past landscape changes do not seem to have affected them negatively, and forest expansion could also benefit several plants and tree-dominated communities at the south limit of distribution (Abies alba, Fagus sylvatica, Pinus uncinata). Landscape simplification, however, translates into plant diversity reduction too, which could be slowed down by creating or keeping small open patches inside matrices of forest. Maximization of plant diversity would require in this case some human perturbation, but at lower intensity than in the far past, in order to preserve large stands of old forests too.

Keywords


Global change; LTER; Pyrenees; traditional land uses; vulnerable plants

Full Text:

PDF

References


Acín, J.L. 2000. Tras las huellas de Lucien de Briet. Bellezas del Alto Aragón. Prames, Zaragoza, 396 pp. ISBN 9788483210642.

Adamczyk, J., Tiede, D. 2017. ZonalMetrics – a Python toolbox for zonal landscape structure analysis. Computers & Geosciences, 99, 91-99. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.cageo.2016.11.005.

Álvarez-Martínez, J.M., Suárez-Seoane, S., Stoorvogel, J.J., de Luis Calabuig, E. 2014. Influence of land use and climate on recent forest expansion: a case study in the Eurosiberian-Mediterranean limit of north-west Spain. Journal of Ecology 102, 905-919. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2745.12257.

Améztegui, A., Brotons, L., Coll, L. 2010. Land-use changes as major drivers of mountain pine (Pinus uncinata Ram.) expansion in the Pyrenees. Global Ecology and Biogeography 19 (5), 632-641. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1466-8238.2010.00550.x.

Anonym 1976. Capitulaciones y concordias sobre aprovechamiento ganadero de las praderas de Gorit. In: M. Daumas (Ed.), La vie rurale dans le Haut Aragon Oriental. C.S.I.C., Madrid, pp. 774.

Anonym 1995. Decreto 49/1995 de 28 de marzo, de la Diputación General de Aragón, por el que se regula el Catálogo de Especies Amenazadas de Aragón.

Anonym 2005. Decreto 181/2005, de 6 de septiembre, del Gobierno de Aragón, por el que se modifica parcialmente el Decreto 49/1995, de 28 de marzo, de la Diputación General de Aragón, por el que se regula el Catálogo de Especies Amenazadas de Aragón.

Anonym 2011. Real Decreto 139/2011, de 4 de febrero, para el desarrollo del Listado de Especies Silvestres en Régimen de Protección Especial y del Catálogo Español de Especies Amenazadas.

Bañares, A., Blanca, G., Güemes, J., Moreno, J.C., Ortiz, S. 2011. Atlas y Libro Rojo de la Flora Vascular Amenazada de España. Adenda 2010. Dirección General de Medio Natural y Política Forestal y Sociedad Española de Biología de la Conservación de Plantas. Madrid, 170 pp.

Batllori, E., Gutiérrez, E. 2008. Regional tree line dynamics in response to global change in the Pyrenees. Journal of Ecology 96, 1275-1288. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2745.2008.01429.x.

Bonari, G., Fajmon, K., Malenovský, I., Zelený, D., Holuša, J., Jongepierová, I., Kočárek, P., Konvička, O., Uřičář, J., Chytrý, M. 2017. Management of semi-natural grasslands benefiting both plant and insect diversity: The importance of heterogeneity and tradition. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 246, 243-252 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2017.06.010.

Campagnaro, T., Frate, L., Carranza, M.L., Sitzia, T. 2017. Multi-scale analysis of alpine landscapes with different intensities of abandonment reveals similar spatial pattern changes: Implications for habitat conservation. Ecological Indicators 74, 147-159. https://doi. org/10.1016/j.ecolind.2016.11.017.

CNIG 2018. Centro Nacional de Información Geográfica. Available at: http://centrodedescargas. cnig.es/CentroDescargas/index.jsp; download in March 2018.

Commission of the European Communities 1992. Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora.

Corlett, R.T. 2015. The Anthropocene concept in ecology and conservation. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 30, 36-41. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2014.10.007.

Diekmann, M., Jandt, U., Alard, D., Bleeker, A., Corcket, E., Gowing, D.J.G., Stevens, C.J., Duprè, C. 2014. Long-term changes in calcareous grassland vegetation in North-western Germany - No decline in species richness, but a shift in species composition. Biological Conservation 172, 170-179. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2014.02.038.

EEA (European Environment Agency), 2017. Climate change, impacts and vulnerability in Europe 2016. An indicator-based report. Available at: https://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/climate-change-impacts-and-vulnerability-2016.

Engler, R., Randin, C.F., Thuiller, W., Dullinger, S., Zimmermann, N.E., Araújo, M.B., Pearman, P.B., Le Lay, G., Piedallu, C., Albert, C.H., Choler, P., Coldea, G., De Lamo, X., Dirnböck, T., Gégout, J.-C., Gómez-García, D., Grytnes, J.-A., Heegaard, E., Høistad, F., Nogués-Bravo, D., Normand, S., Puşcaş, M., Sebastià, M.-T., Stanisci, A., Theurillat, J.-P., Trivedi, M.R., Vittoz, P., Guisan, A. 2011. 21st century climate change threatens mountain flora unequally across Europe. Global Change Biology 17, 2330-2341. https://doi.org/10.1111/ j.1365-2486.2010.02393.x.

Falcucci, A., Maiorano, L., Boitani, L. 2007. Changes in land-use/land-cover patterns in Italy and their implications for biodiversity conservation. Landscape Ecology 22, 617-631. https://doi. org/10.1007/s10980-006-9056-4.

Garbarino, M., Sibona, E., Lingua, E., Motta, R. 2014. Decline of traditional landscape in a protected area of the southwestern Alps: The fate of enclosed pasture patches in the land mosaic shift. Journal of Mountain Science 11, 544-554. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-013-2666-9.

García-Ruiz, J.M., López-Moreno, J.I., Lasanta, T., Vicente-Serrano, S.M., González-Sampériz, P., Valero-Garcés, B.L., Sanjuán, Y., Beguería, S., Nadal-Romero, E., Lana-Renault, N., Gómez-Villar, A. 2015. Los efectos geoecológicos del cambio global en el Pirineo Central español: una revisión a distintas escalas espaciales y temporales. Pirineos 170, e012. https:// doi.org/10.3989/Pirineos.2015.170005.

García-Ruiz, J.M., Lasanta, T. 2018. El Pirineo Aragonés como paisaje cultural. Pirineos 173, 038. https://doi.org/10.3989/pirineos.2018.173005.

García, M.B., Goñi, D., Guzmán, D. 2010. Living at the Edge: Local versus Positional Factors in the Long-Term Population Dynamics of an Endangered Orchid. Conservation Biology 24, 1219-1229. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1523-1739.2010.01466.x.

García, M.B., Silva, J.L., Tejero, P., Pardo, I., Gómez, D. 2018. Tracking the long-term dynamics of plant diversity in Northeast Spain with a network of volunteers and rangers. Regional Environmental Change 18, 493. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10113-018-1350-6.

Gartzia, M., Alados, C.L., Pérez-Cabello, F. 2014. Assessment of the effects of biophysical and anthropogenic factors on woody plant encroachment in dense and sparse mountain grasslands based on remote sensing data. Progress in Physical Geography 38, 201-217. https://doi. org/10.1177/0309133314524429.

Gillet, F., Mauchamp, L., Badot, P.M., Mouly, A. 2016. Recent changes in mountain grasslands: a vegetation resampling study. Ecology and Evolution 6, 2333-2345. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.1987.

Gómez, D., Lorda, M., Font, X., M.B. García (in press). Revisión de la flora endémica de los Pirineos Materiales preliminares para una lista roja pirenaica. Actas XI Coloquio Internacional de Botánica Pirenaico-Cantábrica. Bértiz, Navarra.

Haddad, N.M., Brudvig, L.A., Clobert, J., Davies, K.F., Gonzalez, A., Holt, R.D., Lovejoy, T.E., Sexton, J.O., Austin, M.P., Collins, A.D., Cook, W.M., Damschen, E.I., Ewers, R.M., Foster, B.L., Jenkins, C.N., King, A.J., Laurance, W.F., Levey, D.J., Margules, Ch. R., Melbourne, B.A., Nicholls, A.O., Orrock, J.L., Song, D.X., Townshend, J.R. 2015. Habitat fragmentation and its lasting impact on Earth’s ecosystems. Science Advances 1 (2), e1500052. https://doi. org/10.1126/sciadv.1500052.

Hudewenz, A., Klein, A.M., Scherber, C., Stanke, L., Tscharntke, T., Vogel, A., Weigelt, A., Weisser, W.W., Ebeling, A. 2012. Herbivore and pollinator responses to grassland management intensity along experimental changes in plant species richness. Biological Conservation 150, 42-52. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2012.02.024.

Lindenmayer, D.B., Laurance, W.F. 2017. The ecology, distribution, conservation and management of large old trees. Biological Reviews 92, 1434-1458. https://doi.org/10.1111/brv.12290.

López-Moreno, J.I., Goyette, S., Beniston, M. 2008. Climate change prediction over complex areas: spatial variability of uncertainties and predictions over the Pyrenees from a set of regional climate models. International Journal of Climatology 28, 1535-1550. https://doi. org/10.1002/joc.1645.

MacDonald, D., Crabtree, J.R., Wiesinger, G., Dax, T., Stamou, N., Fleury, P., Gutierrez Lazpita, J., Gibon, A. 2000. Agricultural abandonment in mountain areas of Europe: Environmental consequences and policy response. Journal of Environmental Management 59, 47-69. https://doi.org/10.1006/jema.1999.0335.

McKinney, M., Lockwood, J. 1999. Biotic homogenization: a few winners replacing many losers in the next mass extinction. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 14 (11), 450-453. https://doi. org/10.1016/S0169-5347(99)01679-1.

Mantyka-Pringle, C.S., Martin, T.G., Rhodes, J.R. 2012. Interactions between climate and habitat loss effects on biodiversity: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Global Change Biology 18, 1239-1252. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2486.2011.02593.x.

Mariotte, P., Vandenberghe, C., Kardol, P., Hagedorn, F., Buttler, A. 2013. Subordinate plant species enhance community resistance against drought in semi-natural grasslands. Journal of Ecology 101, 763-773. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2745.12064.

Martínez-Vega, J., Díaz, A., Nava, J.M., Gallardo, M., Echavarría, P. 2017. Assessing Land Use- Cover Changes and Modelling Change Scenarios in Two Mountain Spanish National Parks. Environments 4 (4), 79. https://doi.org/10.3390/environments4040079.

Moreno, J.C., Coord. 2008. Lista Roja 2008 de la flora vascular española. Dirección General de Medio Natural y Política Forestal (Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Medio Rural y Marino) y Sociedad Española de Biología de la Conservación de Plantas), Madrid, 86 pp.

Newbold, T., Hudson, L.N., Hill, S.L.L., Contu, S., Lysenko, I., Senior, R.A., Börger, L., Bennett, D.J., Choimes, A., Collen, B., Day, J., De Palma, A., Díaz, S., Echeverria-Londoño, S., Edgar, M.J., Feldman, A., Garon, M., Harrison, M.L.K., Alhusseini, T., Ingram, D.J., Itescu, Y., Kattge, J., Kemp, V., Kirkpatrick, L., Kleyer, M., Correia, D.L.P., Martin, C.D., Meiri, S., Novosolov, M., Pan, Y., Phillips, H.R.P., PURVES, D.W., Robinson, A., Simpson, J., Tuck, S.L., Weiher, E., White, H.J., Ewers, R.M., Mace, G.M., Scharlemann, J.P.W., Purvis, A. 2015. Global effects of land use on local terrestrial biodiversity. Nature 520, 45-50. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature14324.

Pardo, I. 2016. Distribution and dynamics of multiple components of plant diversity in a high mountain area: the Ordesa-Monte Perdido National Park. Doctoral Dissertation. Barcelona University. Available at: http://hdl.handle.net/2445/99183.

Pardo, I., Doak, D.F., García-González, R., Gómez, D., García, M.B. 2015. Long-term response of plant communities to herbivore exclusion at high elevation grasslands. Biodiversity and Conservation 24, 3033-3047. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10531-015-0996-3.

Rempel, R.S., Kaukinen. D., Carr, A.P. 2012. Patch Analyst and Patch Grid. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. Centre for Northern Forest Ecosystem Research, Thunder Bay, Ontario. Available at: http://www.scirp.org/(S(lz5mqp453edsnp55rrgjct55))/reference/ReferencesPapers.aspx?ReferenceID=2031666.

Roxburgh, S.H., Shea, K., Wilson, J.B. 2004. The intermediate disturbance hypothesis: patch dynamics and mechanisms of species coexistence. Ecology 85, 359-371. https://doi. org/10.1890/03-0266.

Sala, O.E., Chapin, F.S., Armesto, J.J., Berlow, E., Bloomfield, J., Dirzo, R., Huber-Sanwald, E., Huenneke, L.F., Jackson, R.B., Kinzig, A., Leemans, R., Lodge, D.M., Mooney, H.A., Oesterheld, M., Poff, N.L., Sykes, M.T., Walker, B.H., Walker, M., Wall, D.H. 2000. Global biodiversity scenarios for the year 2100. Science 287 (5459), 1770-1774. https://doi. org/10.1126/science.287.5459.1770.

Scheffers, B.R., De Meester, L., Bridge, T.C.L., Hoffmann, A.A., Pandolfi, J.M., Corlett, R.T., Butchart, S.H.M., Pearce-Kelly, P., Kovacs, K.M., Dudgeon, D., Pacifici, M., Rondinini, C., Foden, W.B., Martin, T.G., Mora, C., Bickford, D., Watson, J.E.M. 2016. The broad footprint of climate change from genes to biomes to people. Science 354 (6313), aaf7671. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aaf7671.

Sirami, C., Nespoulous, A., Cheylan, J.-P., Marty, P., Hvenegaard, G.T., Geniez, P., Schatz, B., Martin, J.L. 2010. Long-term anthropogenic and ecological dynamics of a Mediterranean landscape: Impacts on multiple taxa. Landscape and Urban Planning 96, 214-223. https:// doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2010.03.007.

Sitzia, T., Semenzato, P., Trentanovi, G. 2010. Natural reforestation is changing spatial patterns of rural mountain and hill landscapes: A global overview. Forest Ecology and Management 259 (8), 1354-1362. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2010.01.048.

Steinbauer, M.J., Grytnes, J.A., Jurasinski, G., Kulonen, A., Lenoir, J., Pauli, H., Rixen, C., Winkler, M., Bardy-Durchhalter, M., Barni, E., Bjorkman, A.D., Breiner, F.T., Burg, S., Czortek, P., Dawes, M.A., Delimat, A., Dullinger, S., Erschbamer, B., Felde, V.A., Fernández-Arberas, O., Fossheim, K.F., Gómez-García, D., Georges, D., Grindrud, E.T., Haider, S., Haugum, S.V., Henriksen, H., Herreros, M.J., Jaroszewicz, B., Jaroszynska, F., Kanka, R., Kapfer, J., Klanderud, K., Kühn, I., Lamprecht, A., Matteodo, M., di Cella, U.M., Normand, S., Odland, A., Olsen, S.L., Palacio, S., Petey, M., Piscová, V., Sedlakova, B., Steinbauer, K., Stöckli, V., Svenning, J.C., Teppa, G., Theurillat, J.P., Vittoz, P., Woodin, S.J., Zimmermann, N.E., Wipf, S. 2018. Accelerated increase in plant species richness on mountain summits is linked to warming. Nature 556 (7700), 231-234. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-018-0005-6.

Tattoni, C., Ciolli, M., Ferretti, F. 2011. The Fate of Priority Areas for Conservation in Protected Areas: A Fine-Scale Markov Chain Approach. Environmental Management 47, 263-278. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00267-010-9601-4.

Thuiller, W., Lavorel, S., Araújo, M., Sykes, M., Prentice, I. 2005. Climate change threats to plant diversity in Europe. In: H.A. Mooney (Ed.), Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 102 (23), 8245-8250. https://doi.org/10.1073/ pnas.0409902102.

Valiente-Banuet, A., Aizen, M.A., Alcántara, J.M., Arroyo, J., Cocucci, A., Galetti, M., García, M.B., García, D., Gómez, J.M., Jordano, P., Medel, R., Navarro, L., Obeso, J.R., Oviedo, R., Ramírez, N., Rey, P.J., Traveset, A., Verdú, M., Zamora, R. 2015. Beyond species loss: The extinction of ecological interactions in a changing world. Functional Ecology 29, 299-307. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2435.12356.

Wielgolaski, F.E., Hofgaard, A., Holtmeier, F.K. 2017. Sensitivity to environmental change of the treeline ecotone and its associated biodiversity in European mountains. Climate Research 73, 151-166. https://doi.org/10.3354/cr01474.

Wilson, J.B., Peet, R.K., Dengler, J., Pärtel, M. 2012. Plant species richness: the world records. Journal of Vegetation Science 23, 796-802. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01400.x.

Xystrakis, F., Psarras, T., Koutsias, N. 2017. A process-based land use/land cover change assessment on a mountainous area of Greece during 1945-2009: Signs of socio-economic drivers. Science of the Total Environment 587-588, 360-370. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.02.161.




DOI: https://doi.org/10.18172/cig.3711

Copyright (c) 2019 M.B. García, P. Errea, D. Gómez, M. Pizarro

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

© Universidad de La Rioja, 2013

ISSN 0211-6820

EISSN 1697-9540