Navigation Links
Presence of snails points to forest recovery
Date:2/16/2010

A team of Catalan researchers has studied the changes in the make-up of animal populations following forest fires, and have concluded that malacological fauna are a good indicator of forest recovery. The conclusions of this study will help to ensure that post-fire forestry operations that do not harm these species of molluscs, which are sensitive to microclimatic conditions of the soil and vegetation structure.

The researchers from the University of Barcelona (UB) and the Natural Areas Department of the Provincial Government of Barcelona took samples from areas on the edges of an area affected by a forest fire that took place in August 2003 on the outskirts of the Sant Lloren del Munt i l'Obac Natural Park in Catalonia.

The objective of this study, which has been recently published in Biodiversity and Conservation, was to check whether land molluscs, which are invertebrates with limited mobility, would re-colonise the burnt areas or manage to survive the fire in refuges.

"Forest fires produce radical changes in the environmental conditions of the habitat of land gastropods, such as changes to the vegetation structure, and the absence of humus and leaf litter, and so the composition of species within the mollusc community is very severely affected", Xavier Santos, lead author of the study and a researcher at the Department of Animal Biology of the UB, tells SINC.

According to the team, "land mollusc fauna is a good indicator of the processes of faunal recovery in areas affected by forest fires" because these are species that are very sensitive to microclimatic conditions of the soil and vegetation structure. The scientists identified 25 species of land gastropods, with large differences seen between the control stations and burnt areas.

"In the burnt zones there is a very significant absence of numerous forest species that are widespread throughout Europe, such as Pomatias elegans and Acanthinula aculeata, and an increase in species that are more characteristic of more open or drier environments (Cernuella virgata and Xerocrassa penchinati), due to the simplification of the habitat structure", explains Santos.

The biologists thus demonstrate the negative effects of a forest fire on the area's diversity of mollusc populations. "This group of organisms only re-colonise the edges of areas affected by fire in a very limited way", says the researcher, who also says that those areas closest to the edges of the fire have not seen any significant increase in forest species. In addition, the 2004 to 2007 drought may also have reduced the ability of gastropods to re-colonise the burnt areas.

However, the scientists have detected some land molluscs that are typical of forest environments existing in the burnt zones, which managed to survive in closed refuges such as tree trunks and rocks.

Post-fire management applications

"These results come into their own in helping to decide between different management models for Mediterranean forest environments that have recently been affected by fire for example replanting the area with conifers", explains the researcher.

Forest fires are common phenomena and cause great destruction to natural areas in Mediterranean environments. The authors of the study say it is "very important to evaluate how organisms respond to these impacts".

The scientists used studies carried out in the south of France and in the United States as their starting point in this research, above all the 2002 forest fire in the central grasslands of the United States (in the states of Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota), which led to 44% of species there experiencing population declines. The situation was dramatic for snails these animals underwent the most severe declines due to the fire having destroyed all plant waste.


'/>"/>

Contact: SINC
info@plataformasinc.es
34-914-251-820
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Study shows Chronix technology using serum DNA can identify early presence of disease
2. Presence of certain antibodies signals healthier teeth and gums
3. EPFL Research Day 2008, in the presence of Al Gore
4. Presence of gene mutation helps guide thyroid cancer treatment
5. Snails and humans use same genes to tell right from left
6. Ripple effect: Water snails offer new propulsion possibilities
7. Controlling schistosomiasis: buffalo or snails?
8. New UC Davis study: Climate tipping points may arrive without warning, says top forecaster
9. Discovery points toward anti-inflammation treatment for blinding disease
10. BIO-key(R) Appoints Cecilia Welch as Chief Financial Officer
11. Keystone Symposia appoints 5 Fellows as part of diversity in life science initiative
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Presence of snails points to forest recovery
(Date:3/1/2017)... Mass. , March 1, 2017  Aware, Inc. ... services, announced that Richard P. Moberg has ... and co-President and Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of ... continue to serve as a member of the Board ... Russell , Aware,s co-Chief Executive Officer and co-President, General ...
(Date:2/27/2017)... 2017   Strategic Cyber Ventures , the industry,s ... a $3.5 million investment in  Polarity , the first ... is DC based and is led by cybersecurity veterans ... Ron Gula , also a longtime cybersecurity veteran ... this series A round of funding. This new funding ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... and PORTLAND, Ore. , Feb. ... the Avamere Family of Companies (Avamere Health Services, Infinity ... a six-month research study that will apply the power ... at senior living and health centers. By analyzing data ... to gain insights into physical and environmental conditions, and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/27/2017)... ... March 27, 2017 , ... IsoPlexis ... against cancer, autoimmune disease and more through a single-cell precision engineering platform, today ... analysis platform developed in the laboratory of Dr. James Heath at the ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... 2017  Perthera,s Chief Bioinformatics Officer and research faculty ... , Ph.D., will be speaking at the American Medical ... March 27, 2017, she will be speaking on the ... Research and Care" (from 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. ... be a participant in the "Making Precision Oncology Data ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... , March 27, 2017 DarioHealth Corp. ... mobile health and big data solutions, today announced that ... insurance coverage option for U.S. consumers who want to ... DarioHealth has signed strategic alliance agreements with partners ... insurance coverage benefits, and if approved, will supply and ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... March 24, 2017 Sinovac Biotech Ltd. ("Sinovac" or the ... China , today announced that its board of directors ... of the plan from March 27, 2017 to March 27, 2018. The ... About Sinovac Biotech Ltd. ... Sinovac Biotech Ltd. is a ...
Breaking Biology Technology: