HomeScienceLoss of tree species has cumulative impact on biodiversity

Loss of tree species has cumulative impact on biodiversity


master mentalism tricks

Atlantic oak woodlands on the west coast of Scotland. Credit Ruth Mitchell

Diseases affecting different UK tree species have been shown to have a multiplying effect on the loss of associated biodiversity, according to new research published in the Journal of Ecology by James Hutton Institute scientists and partners in the UK and Portugal. The research team reveals that the decline of ash and oak trees may affect more species than just the ones that only use oak and ash as their habitat.

In the UK, the common ash hosts 45 species that are only found on ash trees, and sessile and pedunculate oaks host 326 species that are only found on oak trees. However, if both tree species were to be lost, the number of species at risk is 512 due to an additional 141 species that only use oak and ash.

Lead author of the study Dr. Ruth Mitchell, an ecologist within the James Hutton Institute’s Ecological Sciences department, said that “When a plant pest or pathogen kills a plant, particularly when it results in the wide-spread loss of one plant species, it also impacts on those species such as insects, mosses, lichens, mammals, birds and fungi that use that plant species for feeding, for nesting or as a living space.”

“The impact of plant pests and pathogens on associated biodiversity is rarely considered when risk assessments for plant pests and pathogens new to the UK are made.”

“This work shows that such impacts may be considerable, particularly if multiple host plants are lost that support the same biodiversity, as is the case with the number of different diseases currently impacting the UK’s trees.”

Dead oak tree due to acute oak decline. Credit Ruth Mitchell

Many species use ash, oak and other tree species and thus should be resilient to the loss of ash and oak as they can use other tree species.

However, when the researchers looked at 24 mixed ash and oak woodlands within the UK, they found that only 21% of the sites were able to continue to support species that use ash and oak if ash and oak were lost. This was because the other tree species that would support this biodiversity were not present at the site, although the site conditions were often suitable for them to grow.

The authors suggest that in risk assessments, higher impact scores should be given to pests and pathogens affecting hosts occurring with other host plant species already impacted by pests and pathogens.

The work provides further support for a major theme in recent guidance on sustainable forestry, which advocates that species diversity of multipurpose and conservation woodlands should be increased to enhance their resilience.

Dr. Mitchell added that “current pest and pathogen risk assessment approaches that ignore the cumulative, cascading effects shown in this study may allow an insidious, mostly overlooked, driver of biodiversity loss to continue.”

Defra Chief Plant Health Officer, Professor Nicola Spence, commented that “this work reiterates the importance of protecting our native trees. It confirms that the value of our interconnected ecosystems is often more than may immediately meet the eye, and the importance of intelligent woodland management plans to support resilience. Such combinatorial analysis is beneficial to our understanding and further development of available ‘toolkit’.”

Resilience of vertebrate animals in rapid decline due to manmade threats More information: Ruth J. Mitchell et al, Cumulative impact assessments of multiple host species loss from plant diseases show disproportionate reductions in associated biodiversity, Journal of Ecology (2021). DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.13798 Provided by British Ecological Society

Citation: Loss of tree species has cumulative impact on biodiversity (2021, November 19) retrieved 24 November 2021 from https://phys.org/news/2021-11-loss-tree-species-cumulative-impact.html

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Read The Full Article Here


trick photography
Advertisingfutmillion

Popular posts

Hollywood Spotlight: Director Jon Frenkel Garcia
The Dutchman Cast: André Holland, Zazie Beetz & More Join
The Creator Reactions: Gareth Edwards’ Latest Is One of 2023’s
Company Paid Critics For Rotten Tomatoes Reviews
Wendie Malick Is Martha Stewart-Esque Ghost in ‘Not Dead Yet’
The Cleaning Lady Season 3 Episode 1 Spoilers: Thony Starts
Sam Waterston Exits Law & Order With a Powerful Jack
‘Ray Donovan’ Spinoff Series Set At Paramount+
Dawson Fuss Releases Sophomore EP
“Achieving is Succeeding” by Kayden Gordon and Bob McGilpin
Marbyllia’s “Uncountable Spheres” 
Pacific Northwest-based Johnny Wheels and the Swamp Donkeys Release New Record
9 Boob Tapes That Work For All Busts, Shapes, and
Here’s Why Apple Cider Vinegar Is the Ingredient Your Hair
I Travel a Lot for Work—These Are the Useful Items
The Best Street Style Looks From the Fall 2023 Couture
Oprah’s Book Club Selects Moving Memoir From Formerly Incarcerated Woman
Top Engineer Assesses the Damage of American Politics, Economics and
An Author’s Fictionalized Account of Three Generations Living Together
“The Enchanted Hacienda” Author J
The future of AI: The 5 possible scenarios, from utopia
Complement system causes cell damage in long Covid
Why you might start to hate the influencers you once
Inside the milk bank creating infant formula for orphaned animals
Comedy or Tragedy?
BYD Atto 3 Electric SUV With Blade Battery Technology Launched
Bitcoin Falls to $19,000 in Anticipation of Tighter Fed Policy
Portugal’s Ministry of Finance Eyeing a Capital Gains Tax for