Volume XVIII |

In search of the last remaining giants. Modelling the conservation potential of century old trees within the Continental and Steppic Biogeographical Regions of Romania

Abstract: The present paper aims to model the potential for conservation of some very large specimens of either indigenous or human introduced tree species located within the Continental and Steppic Biogeographical Regions of Romania, areas characterized by considerable natural diversity. Centuries of human intervention have resulted in the major replacement of the natural vegetation with semi natural forests in the highlands, pastures and permanent crops at the hills and arable land in the lower areas. The once pristine landscapes present numerous remains in the form of old trees, while other exotic introduced species are common. In order to assess their conservation potential, we applied an encyclopedically approach centered on numerous field observations, measurements, scientific literature research, historical maps analyses and discussions with locals. The results certify the existence of different species characterized by a medium and high potential for conservation. Some of them are the subject of numerous researches and possess favorable conservation status while many are poorly or virtually unstudied and not protected. Such findings are usable in complex domains, mainly biodiversity conservation, durable ecosystem management and ecotourism.

Volume XVII |

Modelling intact forest landscapes habitats quality at global scales through the use of landscape ecology methods

Abstract: Modelling intact forest landscapes (IFL) quality as habitats for various species represents a crucial aspect concerning wildlife conservation. Landscape ecology provides a rice pallet of metrics suitable for quantifying complex relationships between landscapes structure and function. Our research aims to conduct an ecological diagnosis of the 2013 non-altered IFL patches as optimal habitats for both edge and interior preferring species by taking into account their spatial adjacency to altered IFL patches by fire related and non-fire related causes between 2003 and 2013 through the use of the Edge Contrast Index Metric and the Core Area Index Metric. Our results evidence that none of the world geographical forest regions suffered potential ecological dysfunctions as habitats for either interior or edge dwelling species. However, the equatorial forest zones of Africa, America and Asia are characterized by alarming low levels of habitat quality which in the future can generate severe malfunctions.