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Gradual forest edges can mitigate edge effects on throughfall deposition if their size and shape are well considered

Karen Wuyts UGent, An De Schrijver UGent, Frederic Vermeire and Kris Verheyen UGent (2009) Forest Ecology and Management. 257(2). p.679-687
abstract
For the protection and promotion of biodiversity in forest edges and interiors, forest edge management Practices are put forward like the creation of gradual forest edges (i.e., edges with a gradual increase of vegetation height from open area to forest, e.g., by means of a fringe, a belt, and a mantle). In this study, we tested the mitigating effect of gradual forest edges on the atmospheric deposition of inorganic nitrogen (N) and the potentially acidifying pollutants SO42-, NO3-, and NH4+ (N + S). We conducted field experiments at three exposed forest edges in Flanders and the Netherlands and compared throughfall deposition at steep edges (i.e., edges with an abrupt transition from open area to forest) and at adjacent gradual edges. Along transects perpendicular to the edges, during three months in both winter and summer, throughfall deposition of Cl-, SO42-, NO3-, and NH4+ was monitored in the forest between 0 and 64 m from the edges and in the gradual edge vegetation. At the smoothest and best fitting gradual edge, the extra N + S throughfall deposition the forest received due to edge effects was lower than at the adjacent steep edge, with on average 80 and 100% in winter and summer, respectively. This was due to a halving of the depth of edge influence and an almost full reduction of the magnitude of edge influence. This decrease in throughfall deposition in the forest was not compensated by the additional throughfall deposition on the gradual edge vegetation itself, resulting in a final decrease in throughfall deposition in the forest edge by 60% in winter and 74% in summer. While this result confirms that gradual edges can mitigate edge effects on atmospheric deposition, the results of the other sites indicate the importance of size and shape of the gradual edge vegetation in mitigating edge effects on deposition: due to insufficient height ('size') or inadequate shape of the gradual edge vegetation, only small or insignificant decreases in throughfall deposition were observed. Hence, for mitigating edge effects on N + S and N deposition, our results support the recommendation of creating gradual edges at forests with poorly developed, abrupt edges, but it stresses the importance of a thorough consideration of the shape and size of the gradual edge vegetation in the design and management of gradual forest edges. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle (original)
publication status
published
subject
keyword
Throughfall deposition, Edge shape, Ecotone, Gradual forest edge, Edge effect, Nitrogen
journal title
Forest Ecology and Management
For. Ecol. Manage.
volume
257
issue
2
pages
679 - 687
publisher
Elsevier
place of publication
Amsterdam
Web of Science type
Article
Web of Science id
000261918900033
JCR category
FORESTRY
JCR impact factor
1.95 (2009)
JCR rank
5/46 (2009)
JCR quartile
1 (2009)
ISSN
0378-1127
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
A1
id
698482
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-698482
date created
2009-06-15 10:21:58
date last changed
2009-11-03 09:04:06
@article{698482,
  abstract     = {For the protection and promotion of biodiversity in forest edges and interiors, forest edge management Practices are put forward like the creation of gradual forest edges (i.e., edges with a gradual increase of vegetation height from open area to forest, e.g., by means of a fringe, a belt, and a mantle). In this study, we tested the mitigating effect of gradual forest edges on the atmospheric deposition of inorganic nitrogen (N) and the potentially acidifying pollutants SO42-, NO3-, and NH4+ (N + S). We conducted field experiments at three exposed forest edges in Flanders and the Netherlands and compared throughfall deposition at steep edges (i.e., edges with an abrupt transition from open area to forest) and at adjacent gradual edges. Along transects perpendicular to the edges, during three months in both winter and summer, throughfall deposition of Cl-, SO42-, NO3-, and NH4+ was monitored in the forest between 0 and 64 m from the edges and in the gradual edge vegetation. At the smoothest and best fitting gradual edge, the extra N + S throughfall deposition the forest received due to edge effects was lower than at the adjacent steep edge, with on average 80 and 100\% in winter and summer, respectively. This was due to a halving of the depth of edge influence and an almost full reduction of the magnitude of edge influence. This decrease in throughfall deposition in the forest was not compensated by the additional throughfall deposition on the gradual edge vegetation itself, resulting in a final decrease in throughfall deposition in the forest edge by 60\% in winter and 74\% in summer. While this result confirms that gradual edges can mitigate edge effects on atmospheric deposition, the results of the other sites indicate the importance of size and shape of the gradual edge vegetation in mitigating edge effects on deposition: due to insufficient height ('size') or inadequate shape of the gradual edge vegetation, only small or insignificant decreases in throughfall deposition were observed. Hence, for mitigating edge effects on N + S and N deposition, our results support the recommendation of creating gradual edges at forests with poorly developed, abrupt edges, but it stresses the importance of a thorough consideration of the shape and size of the gradual edge vegetation in the design and management of gradual forest edges. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.},
  author       = {Wuyts, Karen and De Schrijver, An and Vermeire, Frederic and Verheyen, Kris},
  issn         = {0378-1127},
  journal      = {Forest Ecology and Management},
  keyword      = {Throughfall deposition,Edge shape,Ecotone,Gradual forest edge,Edge effect,Nitrogen},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {679--687},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  title        = {Gradual forest edges can mitigate edge effects on throughfall deposition if their size and shape are well considered},
  volume       = {257},
  year         = {2009},
}

Chicago
Wuyts, Karen, An De Schrijver, Frederic Vermeire, and Kris Verheyen. 2009. “Gradual Forest Edges Can Mitigate Edge Effects on Throughfall Deposition If Their Size and Shape Are Well Considered.” Forest Ecology and Management 257 (2): 679–687.
APA
Wuyts, Karen, De Schrijver, A., Vermeire, F., & Verheyen, K. (2009). Gradual forest edges can mitigate edge effects on throughfall deposition if their size and shape are well considered. Forest Ecology and Management, 257(2), 679–687.
Vancouver
1.
Wuyts K, De Schrijver A, Vermeire F, Verheyen K. Gradual forest edges can mitigate edge effects on throughfall deposition if their size and shape are well considered. Forest Ecology and Management. Amsterdam: Elsevier; 2009;257(2):679–87.
MLA
Wuyts, Karen, An De Schrijver, Frederic Vermeire, et al. “Gradual Forest Edges Can Mitigate Edge Effects on Throughfall Deposition If Their Size and Shape Are Well Considered.” Forest Ecology and Management 257.2 (2009): 679–687. Print.