Quantifying species richness at multiple spatial scales in a Natura 2000 network

Abstract

Even if the establishment of nature reserves is to date a reality and the increase of protected areas is going to grow year after year, monitoring programs aiming to assess the effectiveness of the established protected areas for biodiversity conservation are still needed. That is the case for the Natura 2000 network in Europe, for which monitoring methods and programs are not yet well-established. A probabilistic sampling procedure is proposed and tested for quantifying and monitoring plant species diversity within a local network of protected areas, namely the Natura 2000 network in the Siena Province, Italy. On the basis of a sampling strategy of one 100 m plot randomly located in each 1 km x 1 km cell, four Sites of Community Importance (SCIs) were investigated in 2005. The gradients in species composition at the plot scale were largely related to elevation and forest cover. The species richness values of the four SCIs were compared by means of sample-based rarefaction curves. Then, additive partitioning of species richness was applied to determine the most important spatial components in determining the total species richness of the network. Compositional differences among the plots within each SCI were the most responsible of the total species richness. These methodologies can be adopted for assessing plant species richness within a large region or within a reserve network and, if combined with additive partitioning, they can be used as a set of large scale indicators of species diversity.

Abbreviations

NMS:

Nonmetric Multidimensional Scaling

SCI:

Site of Community Importance.

References

  1. Allan, J.D. 1975. Components of diversity. Oecologia 18: 359–367.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  2. Baffetta, F., G. Bacaro, L. Fattorini, D. Rocchini and A. Chiarucci. 2007. Multi-stage cluster sampling for estimating average species richness at different spatial grains. Community Ecol. 8: 119–127.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Bock, M., G. Rossner, M. Wissen, K. Remm, T. Langanke, S. Lang, H. Klug, T. Blaschke and B. Vrscaj. 2005. Spatial indicators for nature conservation from European to local scale. Ecol. Indic. 5: 322–338.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Chiarucci, A. 2007. To sample or not to sample? That is the question … for the vegetation scientist. Folia Geobot. 42: 209–216.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Chiarucci, A, G. Bacaro, D. Rocchini and L. Fattorini. 2008. Discovering and rediscovering the sample-based rarefaction formula in ecological literature. Community Ecol. 9: 121–123.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Chiarucci, A. and I. Bonini. 2005. Quantitative floristics as a tool for the assessment of plant diversity in Tuscan forests. Forest Ecol. Manage. 212: 160–170.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Chiarucci, A., V. De Dominicis and J. B.Wilson. 2001. Structure and floristic diversity in permanent monitoring plots in forest eco-systems of Tuscany. Forest Ecol. Manage. 141: 201–210.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Chiarucci A., N.J. Enright, G.L.W. Perry, B.P. Miller and B.B. Lamont. 2003. Performance of nonparametric species richness estimators in a high diversity plant community. Diver. Distrib. 9: 283–295.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Chytrý, M. and Z. Otýpková. 2003. Plot sizes used for phytosociological sampling of European vegetation. J. Veg. Sci. 14: 563–570.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Clarke, K.R. 1993. Non-parametric multivariate analyses of changes in community structure. Aust. J. Ecol. 18: 117–143.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Colwell, R.K. and J.A. Coddington. 1994. Estimating terrestrial biodiversity through extrapolation. Phil. Trans. R.Soc. B 345: 101–118.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  12. Condit, R., S.P. Hubbell, J.V. Lafrankie, R. Sukumar, R. Manokaran, R.B. Foster and P.S. Ashton. 1996. Species-area and species-individual relationships for tropical trees: a comparison of three 50-ha plots. J. Ecol. 84: 549–562.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Crist, T.O. and J.A. Veech. 2006. Additive partitioning of rarefaction curves and species-area relationships: unifying alpha-, beta- and gamma-diversity with sample size and habitat area. Ecol. Lett. 9: 923–932.

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  14. Crist, T.O., J.A. Veech, J.C Gering and K.S. Summerville. 2003. Partitioning species diversity across landscapes and regions: a hierarchical analysis of α, β, and γ diversity. Am. Nat. 162: 734–743.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. D’Alessandro, L. and L. Fattorini. 2002. Resampling estimators of species richness from presence-absence data: why they don’t work. Metron 61: 5–19.

    Google Scholar 

  16. Dungan, J.L., J.N. Perry, M.R.T. Dale, P. Legendre, S. Citron-Pousty, M.-J. Fortin, A. Jakomulska, M. Miriti and M.S. Rosemberg. 2002. A balanced view of scale in spatial statistical analysis. Ecography 25: 626–640.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Fattorini, L., 2007. Statistical inference on accumulation curves for inventorying forest diversity: A design-based critical look. Plant Biosyst. 141: 231–242.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Fattorini, L. and G. Tabacchi. 2004. Inventario Nazionale delle Foreste e dei Serbatoi Forestali di Carbonio: il Disegno di Campionamento, MiPAF – Direzione Generale per le Risorse Forestali Montane e Idriche, Corpo Forestale dello Stato, CRAISAFA, Trento.

  19. Ferretti, M. and A. Chiarucci. 2003. Design concepts adopted in long-term forest monitoring programs in Europe—problems for the future? Sci. Tot. Environ. 310: 171–178.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  20. Gering, J.C, T.O. Crist and J.A. Veech. 2003. Additive partitioning of species diversity across multiple spatial scales: implications for regional conservation of biodiversity. Cons. Biol. 17: 488–499.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Gotelli, N.J. and R.K. Colwell. 2001. Quantifying biodiversity: procedures and pitfalls in the measurement and comparison of species richness. Ecol. Lett. 4: 379–391.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Hui, C. 2008. On species-area and species accumulation curves: A comment on Chong and Stohlgren’s index. Ecol. Indic. 8: 327–329.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Kobayashi, S. 1974. The species-area relation I. A model for discrete sampling. Res. Popul. Ecol. 15: 223–237.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Koellner, T., A.M. Hersperger and T. Wohlgemuth. 2004. Rarefaction method for assessing plant species diversity on a regional scale. Ecography 27: 532–544.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Lande, R. 1996. Statistics and partitioning of species diversity, and similarity among multiple communities. Oikos 76: 5–13.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Legg, C.J. and L. Nagy. 2006. Why most conservation monitoring is, but need not be, a waste of time. J. Environ. Manage.78: 194–199.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. McCollin, D., L. Moore and T. Sparks. 2000. The flora of a cultural landscape: environmental determinants of change using archival sources. Biol. Conserv. 92: 249–263.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Melo, A.S. 2004. A critique of the use of jackknife and related non-parametric techniques to estimate species richness. Community Ecol. 5: 149–157.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Nagendra, H. and M. Gadgil. 1999. Biodiversity assessment at multiple scales: Linking remotely sensed data with field information. PNAS 96: 9154–9158.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  30. Nekola, J.C. and P.S. White. 1999. The distance decay of similarity in biogeography and ecology. J. Biogeogr. 26: 867–878.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Palmer, M.W. 1995. How should one count species. Nat. Area J. 15: 124–135.

    Google Scholar 

  32. Palmer, M.W., P.G. Earls, B.W. Hoagland, P.S. White and T. Wohlgemuth. 2002. Quantitative tools for perfecting species lists. Environmetrics 13: 121–137.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Palmer, M.W. and P.S. White. 1994. Scale dependence and the species-area relationship. Am. Nat. 144: 717–740.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Plattner, M., S. Birrer and D. Weber. 2004. Data quality in monitoring plant species richness in Switzerland. Community Ecol. 5: 135–143.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Podani, J. 1994. Multivariate Data Analysis in Ecology and Systematics. A methodological guide to the Syntax 5.0 package. SPB Publishing, The Hague, The Netherlands.

    Google Scholar 

  36. Reid, W.V. 1992. How many species will there be? In: T. C. Whitmore and J. A. Sayer (eds.) Tropical Deforestation and Species Extinction. Chapman and Hall, London, pp. 55–73.

    Google Scholar 

  37. Robinson, G.R., M.E. Yurlina and S.N. Handel. 1994. A century of change in the Staten island flora: ecological correlates of species losses and invasions. Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 121: 119–129.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  38. Rodrigues, A.S.L., S.J. Andelman, M.I. Bakarr, L. Boitani, T.M. Brooks, R.M. Cowling, L.D.C. Fishpool, G.A.B. da Fonseca, K.J. Gaston, M. Hoffmann, J.S. Long, P.A. Marquet, J.D. Pilgrim, R.L. Pressey, J. Schipper, W. Sechrest, S.N. Stuart, L.G. Underhill, R.W. Waller, M.E.J. Watts and X. Yan. 2004. Effectiveness of the global protected area network in representing species diversity. Nature 428: 640–643.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  39. Sanders, H.L. 1968. Marine benthic diversity: a comparative study. Am. Nat. 102: 243–282.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  40. Stohlgren, T.J. 2007. Measuring Plant Diversity: Lesson from the Field. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

    Google Scholar 

  41. Veech, J.A. andT.O Crist. 2007a. Habitat and climate heterogeneity maintain beta-diversity of birds among landscapes within ecoregions. Global Ecol. Biogeogr. 16: 650–656.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. Veech J. A and T. O. Crist. 2007b. PARTITION: software for hierarchical additive partitioning of species diversity, version 2.0.

  43. Veech, J.A., K.S. Summerville, T.O Crist and J.C. Gering. 2002. The additive partitioning of species diversity: recent revival of an old idea. Oikos 99: 3–9.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  44. Wiens, J.A. 1989. Spatial scaling in ecology. Funct. Ecol. 3: 385–397.

    Google Scholar 

  45. Wilson, J.B. and A. Chiarucci. 2000. Do plant communities exist? Evidence from scaling-up local species-area relations to the regional level. J. Veg. Sci. 11: 773–775.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  46. Yoccoz, N.G., J.D. Nichols and T. Boulinier. 2001. Monitoring of biological diversity in space and time. Trends Ecol. Evol. 16: 446–453.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to A. Chiarucci.

Rights and permissions

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Chiarucci, A., Bacaro, G., Vannini, A. et al. Quantifying species richness at multiple spatial scales in a Natura 2000 network. COMMUNITY ECOLOGY 9, 185–192 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1556/ComEc.9.2008.2.7

Download citation

Keywords

  • Biodiversity
  • Biodiversity assessment
  • Biodiversity monitoring
  • Conservation biology
  • Flora
  • Plant communities
  • Reserve network
  • Species richness
  • Vegetation