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Effects of Past and Current Land Use on Biodiversity: from a semi-natural grassland on Öland (Sweden) to a European perspective

Vandewalle, Marie LU (2010)
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in French

L'inquiétude grandit quant à la perte de la biodiversité liée aux changements d'utilisation des terres, l’effet de cette perte sur les services écosystémiques fournis par les communautés naturelles et semi-naturelles et, finalement, la menace que cela pourrait entraîner sur le bien-être de l’Homme.

Ce travail de thèse examine l'impact de l'utilisation des terres présente et passée sur les différents aspects de la biodiversité, à savoir la diversité des espèces, la diversité fonctionnelle et les services écosystémiques. Il met également l'accent sur l'analyse et la compréhension des assemblages de communautés et recherche dans quelle mesure les filtres environnementaux passés et actuels... (More)
Popular Abstract in French

L'inquiétude grandit quant à la perte de la biodiversité liée aux changements d'utilisation des terres, l’effet de cette perte sur les services écosystémiques fournis par les communautés naturelles et semi-naturelles et, finalement, la menace que cela pourrait entraîner sur le bien-être de l’Homme.

Ce travail de thèse examine l'impact de l'utilisation des terres présente et passée sur les différents aspects de la biodiversité, à savoir la diversité des espèces, la diversité fonctionnelle et les services écosystémiques. Il met également l'accent sur l'analyse et la compréhension des assemblages de communautés et recherche dans quelle mesure les filtres environnementaux passés et actuels affectent la coexistence des espèces. Enfin, il documente les services des principaux écosystèmes terrestres et d'eau douce en Europe, ainsi que les tendances passées de leur statut et de leur utilisation.

Cette thèse se focalise sur de larges gammes d'échelles spatiales; de fragments de prairies semi-naturelles sur une zone d'étude de 25 km2 à une échelle continentale européenne.

Dans le cas des prairies semi-naturelles, les changements d'utilisation des terres se traduisent par des processus de fragmentation et/ou de conversion/succession de ces écosystèmes vers des écosystèmes forestiers. Dans ce contexte, il a été démontré que l'abandon de la gestion traditionnelle (i.e. pâturage modéré) avait des effets négatifs sur la diversité spécifique et fonctionnelle, pouvant conduire à une perte de certains services fournis par les prairies semi-naturelles. A l’échelle fine, les diversités spécifique et fonctionnelle sont associées à la végétation environnante passée et présente, avec notamment une association positive dans les communautés qui ont été entourées par des prairies depuis le 19ème siècle, ce qui pourrait refléter une histoire continue de pâturage. La grande richesse d’espèces à l’échelle fine que l’on observe dans les prairies semi-naturelles a été expliquée par une différenciation de stratégies des espèces coexistantes pour faire face à plusieurs facteurs limitant. Ces résultats pourraient influer sur la résilience de ces écosystèmes dans le contexte de l'abandon en cours de gestion des pâturages traditionnels et requerraient donc de plus amples investigations.

Dans l'ensemble, toutes les composantes étudiées de la biodiversité ont été associées à la fois à l'utilisation des terres passées et présentes, néanmoins aucun de ces composants ne pourrait agir comme un bon substitut pour un autre composant de la biodiversité. Les résultats de cette thèse suggèrent que le développement d'indicateurs fiables de la biodiversité, et donc les stratégies de conservation, bénéficierait grandement de l'intégration des différents aspects d'information de la biodiversité ainsi que de l’étude des facteurs, présents et passés, de changement de la biodiversité. (Less)
Abstract
Concerns are increasing about the loss of biodiversity under land use change and how this will affect the ecosystem services provided by natural and semi-natural communities and consequently how this will threaten human well-being.

The thesis examines the impact of present and past land use on different aspects of biodiversity; namely species diversity, traits and functional diversity and on ecosystem services. It also focuses on exploring and understanding how communities are assembled and to what extent past and current environmental filters affect the coexistence of species. A key aspect was the investigation of functional traits distribution within species communities. This thesis has a broad range of scales, from working... (More)
Concerns are increasing about the loss of biodiversity under land use change and how this will affect the ecosystem services provided by natural and semi-natural communities and consequently how this will threaten human well-being.

The thesis examines the impact of present and past land use on different aspects of biodiversity; namely species diversity, traits and functional diversity and on ecosystem services. It also focuses on exploring and understanding how communities are assembled and to what extent past and current environmental filters affect the coexistence of species. A key aspect was the investigation of functional traits distribution within species communities. This thesis has a broad range of scales, from working with semi-natural grassland fragments on a 25km2 study area to a more European perspective.

Studying different aspects of species diversity and functional diversity provides a more complete picture on the community-level consequences of past and current habitat conditions.

Species evenness and species richness show independent responses to past and current habitat conditions, suggesting that the species evenness should be more systematically included in the assessment of the taxonomic component of biodiversity. Functional metrics were not completely reflected by taxonomic metrics, leaving uncertainty about the extent to which taxonomic indicators fully characterize biodiversity changes in response to land-use change and calling for an integration of taxonomic and functional indicators.

Both species and functional diversity were associated with present and past habitat conditions, suggesting that both components of biodiversity may exhibit relatively long time-lagged responses to changes in habitat conditions. Therefore, the development of reliable indicators of biodiversity change would greatly benefit from the integration of both past and present biodiversity drivers.

Species coexistence could be explained by different processes acting on different scales, reflecting the degree of environmental heterogeneity. At the scale where species share physically the same environment, species coexistence could be explained by the limiting similarity in a variety or combination of their ecological strategies, leading to the high fine scale species richness observed in semi-natural grasslands. Further research with a larger pool of traits in order to have a more complete picture of the trade-offs between coexisting species, as well as research at different scales are required to further understand the mechanisms governing species coexistence.

Limiting similarity could be more common within each abundance class, especially within the subdominants, than between abundance classes, suggesting the need for further investigations to link the dissimilarity processes within each abundance class to the context of functional redundancy. This may influence the ecosystem resilience of the semi-natural grasslands in the context of the ongoing abandonment of traditional grazing management, which are threatening the diversity of this ecosystem.

Finally, linking biodiversity to the provision of ecosystem services together with further research into the recognition of the multifunctionality of ecosystems should promote a better conservation planning of those component of biodiversity that contribute to preserve human well beings. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
supervisor
opponent
  • Professor Pakeman, Robin, The Macaulay Land Use Research Institute, Aberdeen, UK
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
ecosystem services, bioindicators, land-use history, Biodiversity, semi-natural grasslands conservation, habitat fragmentation, functional diversity
pages
202 pages
publisher
Tryckeriet i E-huset, Lunds universitet
defense location
Världen, Geocentrum I, Sölvegatan 10, Lund
defense date
2011-01-20 10:00
ISBN
978-91-85793-16-7
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
1c198ff6-e2de-4d3b-8a1c-8f4e231bc73b (old id 1748761)
date added to LUP
2010-12-22 08:46:41
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:45:10
@phdthesis{1c198ff6-e2de-4d3b-8a1c-8f4e231bc73b,
  abstract     = {Concerns are increasing about the loss of biodiversity under land use change and how this will affect the ecosystem services provided by natural and semi-natural communities and consequently how this will threaten human well-being. <br/><br>
The thesis examines the impact of present and past land use on different aspects of biodiversity; namely species diversity, traits and functional diversity and on ecosystem services. It also focuses on exploring and understanding how communities are assembled and to what extent past and current environmental filters affect the coexistence of species. A key aspect was the investigation of functional traits distribution within species communities. This thesis has a broad range of scales, from working with semi-natural grassland fragments on a 25km2 study area to a more European perspective. <br/><br>
Studying different aspects of species diversity and functional diversity provides a more complete picture on the community-level consequences of past and current habitat conditions.<br/><br>
Species evenness and species richness show independent responses to past and current habitat conditions, suggesting that the species evenness should be more systematically included in the assessment of the taxonomic component of biodiversity. Functional metrics were not completely reflected by taxonomic metrics, leaving uncertainty about the extent to which taxonomic indicators fully characterize biodiversity changes in response to land-use change and calling for an integration of taxonomic and functional indicators.<br/><br>
Both species and functional diversity were associated with present and past habitat conditions, suggesting that both components of biodiversity may exhibit relatively long time-lagged responses to changes in habitat conditions. Therefore, the development of reliable indicators of biodiversity change would greatly benefit from the integration of both past and present biodiversity drivers.<br/><br>
Species coexistence could be explained by different processes acting on different scales, reflecting the degree of environmental heterogeneity. At the scale where species share physically the same environment, species coexistence could be explained by the limiting similarity in a variety or combination of their ecological strategies, leading to the high fine scale species richness observed in semi-natural grasslands. Further research with a larger pool of traits in order to have a more complete picture of the trade-offs between coexisting species, as well as research at different scales are required to further understand the mechanisms governing species coexistence.<br/><br>
Limiting similarity could be more common within each abundance class, especially within the subdominants, than between abundance classes, suggesting the need for further investigations to link the dissimilarity processes within each abundance class to the context of functional redundancy. This may influence the ecosystem resilience of the semi-natural grasslands in the context of the ongoing abandonment of traditional grazing management, which are threatening the diversity of this ecosystem.<br/><br>
	Finally, linking biodiversity to the provision of ecosystem services together with further research into the recognition of the multifunctionality of ecosystems should promote a better conservation planning of those component of biodiversity that contribute to preserve human well beings.},
  author       = {Vandewalle, Marie},
  isbn         = {978-91-85793-16-7},
  keyword      = {ecosystem services,bioindicators,land-use history,Biodiversity,semi-natural grasslands conservation,habitat fragmentation,functional diversity},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {202},
  publisher    = {Tryckeriet i E-huset, Lunds universitet},
  school       = {Lund University},
  title        = {Effects of Past and Current Land Use on Biodiversity: from a semi-natural grassland on Öland (Sweden) to a European perspective},
  year         = {2010},
}