Assessing ecological indicators for remnant vegetation strips as functional biological corridors in chilean vineyards

Javiera Díaz-Forestier, Sebastián Abades, Nélida Pohl, Olga Barbosa, Karina Godoy, Gabriella L. Svensson, María I. Undurraga, Camila Bravo, Camila García, Meredith Root-Bernstein, Juan J. Armesto, Juan L. Celis-Diez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Mediterranean central Chile is globally recognized as a hotspot for terrestrial biodiversity due to its high endemism and massive habitat loss. However, within the rural landscape of central Chile, significant extents of natural areas remain, especially on less productive, steep slopes, and vegetation strips extending from the surrounding hills to agricultural areas. Accordingly, vegetation strips or corridors, within lowland farms, constitute key elements to support the conservation of biodiversity in rural landscapes. To assess the ecological performance of corridors in 22 commercials vineyards in central Chile, we characterized them in terms of width-, length-, area-, and perimeter-to-area ratios, as well as the number of connections with natural areas. Based on a set of previously defined ecological indicators (species, functional groups, and structural components), we compared their occurrence in corridors within vineyards and in the surrounding natural areas. We evaluated the effects of corridor attributes on the occurrence of the selected ecological indicators, using a generalized linear mixed model with each vineyard as a random factor. The area, width, and length of vegetation corridors varied widely (1.2–86.3 ha, 10.5–95 m, and 380–5000 m, respectively). We found significant differences in the occurrence of indicators between corridors and natural areas. All sampled ecological indicators in corridors showed a negative relationship with the distance to the nearest natural area. Vegetation strips within vineyards represent important opportunities for biodiversity conservation that significantly enhance habitat quality in the agricultural landscape for biodiversity and habitat connectivity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number447
JournalDiversity
Volume13
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Agricultural landscapes
  • Ecological indicators
  • Ecological intensification
  • Land-sharing
  • Vegetation corridors
  • Vinecology

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