The most commonly used old-growth forest indicators are structural attributes; nevertheless, they do not necessarily represent the biodiversity value of old-growth forests. The aim of this study is to analyse the relationships between species richness data of different taxa and structural indicators of old-growth and to identify taxonomic/functional groups, species and structural attributes that may be used as indicators of old-growth. To achieve this goal we sampled forest structure, vascular plants, lichens, bryophytes, fungi, saproxylic beetles and birds in mature and old-growth stands in southern Italy. We calculated Spearman's correlation coefficients between species richness data and structural attributes. Analyses of indicator species, co-occurrences and two-way clusters were performed on the multi-taxonomic list. The group of vascular plants most significantly correlated with other groups in terms of species richness; furthermore, it displays the highest proportion of between-group co-occurrences. The resulting multi-taxonomic list of potential indicators may serve as an effective means of detecting and monitoring forest ecosystems; however, for this goal, structure-based indicators, such as forest structural attributes and vascular plant species composition, are of primary importance.
Multi-taxon and forest structure sampling for identification of indicators and monitoring of old-growth forest / Blasi, Carlo; M., Marchetti; U., Chiavetta; M., Aleffi; Audisio, Paolo Aldo; Azzella, MATTIA MARTIN; G., Brunialti; Capotorti, Giulia; DEL VICO, Eva; E., Lattanzi; Persiani, Anna Maria; S., Ravera; Tilia, Agnese; Burrascano, Sabina. - In: PLANT BIOSYSTEMS. - ISSN 1126-3504. - STAMPA. - 144:1(2010), pp. 160-170. [10.1080/11263500903560538]