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Low tortoise abundances in pine forest plantations in forest-shrubland transition areas.
PLoS One 2017; 12(3):e0173485Plos

Abstract

In the transition between Mediterranean forest and the arid subtropical shrublands of the southeastern Iberian Peninsula, humans have transformed habitat since ancient times. Understanding the role of the original mosaic landscapes in wildlife species and the effects of the current changes as pine forest plantations, performed even outside the forest ecological boundaries, are important conservation issues. We studied variation in the density of the endangered spur-thighed tortoise (Testudo graeca) in three areas that include the four most common land types within the species' range (pine forests, natural shrubs, dryland crop fields, and abandoned crop fields). Tortoise densities were estimated using a two-stage modeling approach with line transect distance sampling. Densities in dryland crop fields, abandoned crop fields and natural shrubs were higher (>6 individuals/ha) than in pine forests (1.25 individuals/ha). We also found large variation in density in the pine forests. Recent pine plantations showed higher densities than mature pine forests where shrub and herbaceous cover was taller and thicker. We hypothesize that mature pine forest might constrain tortoise activity by acting as partial barriers to movements. This issue is relevant for management purposes given that large areas in the tortoise's range have recently been converted to pine plantations.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Área de Ecología, Departamento de Biología Aplicada, Universidad Miguel Hernández, Av/ Universidad, Elche, Spain.Centre for Research into Ecological and Environmental Modeling, University of St Andrews, The Observatory, Buchanan Gardens, St. Andrews, United Kingdom.Área de Ecología, Departamento de Biología Aplicada, Universidad Miguel Hernández, Av/ Universidad, Elche, Spain.Department of Biology, Queens College, City University of New York, New York, New York, United States of America.Centre for Research into Ecological and Environmental Modeling, University of St Andrews, The Observatory, Buchanan Gardens, St. Andrews, United Kingdom.Departamento de Ecología e Hidrología, Área de Ecología, Universidad de Murcia, Murcia, Spain.Fundación Nueva Cultura del Agua, Zaragoza, Spain.Área de Ecología, Departamento de Biología Aplicada, Universidad Miguel Hernández, Av/ Universidad, Elche, Spain.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

28273135

Citation

Rodríguez-Caro, Roberto C., et al. "Low Tortoise Abundances in Pine Forest Plantations in Forest-shrubland Transition Areas." PloS One, vol. 12, no. 3, 2017, pp. e0173485.
Rodríguez-Caro RC, Oedekoven CS, Graciá E, et al. Low tortoise abundances in pine forest plantations in forest-shrubland transition areas. PLoS ONE. 2017;12(3):e0173485.
Rodríguez-Caro, R. C., Oedekoven, C. S., Graciá, E., Anadón, J. D., Buckland, S. T., Esteve-Selma, M. A., ... Giménez, A. (2017). Low tortoise abundances in pine forest plantations in forest-shrubland transition areas. PloS One, 12(3), pp. e0173485. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0173485.
Rodríguez-Caro RC, et al. Low Tortoise Abundances in Pine Forest Plantations in Forest-shrubland Transition Areas. PLoS ONE. 2017;12(3):e0173485. PubMed PMID: 28273135.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Low tortoise abundances in pine forest plantations in forest-shrubland transition areas. AU - Rodríguez-Caro,Roberto C, AU - Oedekoven,Cornelia S, AU - Graciá,Eva, AU - Anadón,José D, AU - Buckland,Stephen T, AU - Esteve-Selma,Miguel A, AU - Martinez,Julia, AU - Giménez,Andrés, Y1 - 2017/03/08/ PY - 2016/07/18/received PY - 2017/02/21/accepted PY - 2017/3/9/entrez PY - 2017/3/9/pubmed PY - 2017/8/26/medline SP - e0173485 EP - e0173485 JF - PloS one JO - PLoS ONE VL - 12 IS - 3 N2 - In the transition between Mediterranean forest and the arid subtropical shrublands of the southeastern Iberian Peninsula, humans have transformed habitat since ancient times. Understanding the role of the original mosaic landscapes in wildlife species and the effects of the current changes as pine forest plantations, performed even outside the forest ecological boundaries, are important conservation issues. We studied variation in the density of the endangered spur-thighed tortoise (Testudo graeca) in three areas that include the four most common land types within the species' range (pine forests, natural shrubs, dryland crop fields, and abandoned crop fields). Tortoise densities were estimated using a two-stage modeling approach with line transect distance sampling. Densities in dryland crop fields, abandoned crop fields and natural shrubs were higher (>6 individuals/ha) than in pine forests (1.25 individuals/ha). We also found large variation in density in the pine forests. Recent pine plantations showed higher densities than mature pine forests where shrub and herbaceous cover was taller and thicker. We hypothesize that mature pine forest might constrain tortoise activity by acting as partial barriers to movements. This issue is relevant for management purposes given that large areas in the tortoise's range have recently been converted to pine plantations. SN - 1932-6203 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/28273135/Low_tortoise_abundances_in_pine_forest_plantations_in_forest_shrubland_transition_areas_ L2 - http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0173485 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -