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Article

Late Spring Frost in Mediterranean Beech Forests: Extended Crown Dieback and Short-Term Effects on Moth Communities

1
Council for Agricultural Research and Economics, Research Centre for Forestry and Wood (CREA-FL), Contrada Li Rocchi, 87036 Rende (CS), Italy
2
Institute of Methodologies for Environmental Analysis - National Research Council of Italy (IMAA-CNR), c.da Santa Loja, 85050 Tito Scalo (PZ), Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2018, 9(7), 388; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9070388
Received: 15 May 2018 / Revised: 26 June 2018 / Accepted: 28 June 2018 / Published: 1 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
The magnitude and frequency of Extreme Weather Events (EWEs) are increasing, causing changes in species distribution. We assessed the short-term effects of a late spring frost on beech forests, using satellite images to identify damaged forests and changes in v-egetation phenology, as well as to support the analyses on associated moth communities. The EWE caused crown dieback above 1400 m of altitude, recovered only after several weeks. Nine stands for moth sampling, settled in impacted and non-impacted forests, allowed us to study changes in moth communities and in the wingspan of the most impacted species. The EWE modified community structures, reducing the abundance of beech-feeder species, but leaving species richness unaltered. Operophtera fagata and Epirrita christyi, dominant before the EWE, lost 93% and 89% of their population, respectively. We found a general increase in the average wingspan for these species, caused by the loss of small specimens in most impacted forests, suggesting a re-colonization from non-impacted forests. According to our results, populations of some species could be more resilient than others after an EWE due to their different dispersal ability. Forest ecosystems appear to be dynamic entities able to cope with extreme weather events but, likely, only if they continue to occur in the future at the current rate. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; Epirrita christyi; extreme weather events; Fagus sylvatica; Lepidoptera; MODIS; NDVI; Operophtera fagata; Sentinel 2 climate change; Epirrita christyi; extreme weather events; Fagus sylvatica; Lepidoptera; MODIS; NDVI; Operophtera fagata; Sentinel 2
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MDPI and ACS Style

Greco, S.; Infusino, M.; De Donato, C.; Coluzzi, R.; Imbrenda, V.; Lanfredi, M.; Simoniello, T.; Scalercio, S. Late Spring Frost in Mediterranean Beech Forests: Extended Crown Dieback and Short-Term Effects on Moth Communities. Forests 2018, 9, 388. https://doi.org/10.3390/f9070388

AMA Style

Greco S, Infusino M, De Donato C, Coluzzi R, Imbrenda V, Lanfredi M, Simoniello T, Scalercio S. Late Spring Frost in Mediterranean Beech Forests: Extended Crown Dieback and Short-Term Effects on Moth Communities. Forests. 2018; 9(7):388. https://doi.org/10.3390/f9070388

Chicago/Turabian Style

Greco, Silvia; Infusino, Marco; De Donato, Carlo; Coluzzi, Rosa; Imbrenda, Vito; Lanfredi, Maria; Simoniello, Tiziana; Scalercio, Stefano. 2018. "Late Spring Frost in Mediterranean Beech Forests: Extended Crown Dieback and Short-Term Effects on Moth Communities" Forests 9, no. 7: 388. https://doi.org/10.3390/f9070388

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