Public LiDAR data are an important tool for the detection of saproxylic insect hotspots in Mediterranean forests and their connectivity

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Title: Public LiDAR data are an important tool for the detection of saproxylic insect hotspots in Mediterranean forests and their connectivity
Authors: Rada, Patrik | Padilla, Ascension | Horák, Jakub | Micó, Estefanía
Research Group/s: Biodiversidad y Biotecnología aplicadas a la Biología de la Conservación | Medio, Sociedad y Paisaje (MedSPai)
Center, Department or Service: Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Ciencias Ambientales y Recursos Naturales | Universidad de Alicante. Departamento de Análisis Geográfico Regional y Geografía Física | Universidad de Alicante. Centro Iberoamericano de la Biodiversidad | Universidad de Alicante. Instituto Interuniversitario de Geografía
Keywords: Habitat suitability | Old growth forest | Threatened species | Remote sensing | Mediterranean forest | Dehesa
Knowledge Area: Zoología | Geografía Física
Issue Date: 2-Jul-2022
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Forest Ecology and Management. 2022, 520: 120378.
Abstract: Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) is a remote sensing technique with multiple uses throughout scientific fields. It can also be used to transfer point data measured in the field to broader spatial scales, which might enable the evaluation of habitats over large areas and define biodiversity hotspots. Our study took place in Cabañeros National Park, which is situated in the Mediterranean, namely, central Spain, and its vegetation is dominated by forest and impenetrable scrubland. LiDAR was used to detect veteran trees as key elements for a highly diverse saproxylic community. The saproxylic beetle community inhabiting tree hollows was studied among different forest types and habitats to determine its preferences. We identified potential hotspots for the saproxylic beetle community of tree hollows both inside and outside of the park, as well as the connectivity of suitable habitat patches. This was based on the species response to the spatial partitioning of the landscape. We found that not all potentially suitable forest types hosted the same saproxylic diversity or similar species compositions. In addition, forest distribution and connectivity inside and outside of the park also varied highly among forest types and habitats, where the most diverse deciduous oak forest was also the least connected together with the riparian forest. The evergreen oak forest could act as a habitat linkage for most of the threatened and less mobile species in the park. However, the low connectivity of the most diverse forest types in the park surroundings can compromise the persistence of saproxylic diversity in the near future. We concluded that LiDAR data were an effective tool for estimating saproxylic beetle diversity distribution over large-scale areas in the context of landscapes with low accessibility. Additionally, this tool allowed us to identify the most threatened forest types and critical patches for connectivity persistence where management practices capable of accelerating tree veteranisation could help to increase adequate forest connectivity in the region.
Sponsor: Financial support was provided by the Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación, Spain (PID2020-115140RB-I00) granted to EM. This study was also supported by the programme Erasmus + and by UHK specific research project (2116/2020) granted to PR.
ISSN: 0378-1127 (Print) | 1872-7042 (Online)
DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2022.120378
Language: eng
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Rights: © 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC license (
Peer Review: si
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Appears in Collections:INV - MedSPai - Artículos de Revistas
INV - BBaBC - Artículos de Revistas

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