Research papers

Were there significant changes in the overall condition of the CONECOFOR plots over the 1995 -2005 period?


Abstract


Since 1995 the CONECOFOR programme is collecting data on a number of attributes of forest ecosystems in 20 permanent plots in Italy. In this paper, different multivariate methods were used to detect possible changes and deviations in the overall biological and chemical-physical status of the CONECOFOR plots as compared to defined reference periods. The reference periods were set-up taking into account the data availability and were as follows: 1997-1999 for biological status; 1999-2002 for chemical-physical status. Changes of the biological conditions of the plots were identified only in a few cases over the period 2000 - 2004 and were due to low values in transparency and basal area increment of the intermediate and dominated layer. On the other hand, several changes were detected in relation to the chemical and physical status over the period 2003-2005. Some few regularities were identified: (i) change/deviations concentrated on few plots; (ii) high ozone (O3), low sulphur deposition and low precipitation were the attributes more consistently related tochanges/deviations; (iii) most deviations were due to changes in the correlation structure of the attributes; and (iv) there is no consistenttiming of change/deviations among plots. These findings emphasise the need to evaluate the data at the plot level and this indicate the importance of obtaining a time series long enough to enable plot-wise integrated analysis.


Keywords

permanent plots; Italy; change; deviations; Mahalanobis; PARAFAC; Hotelling T2; Square Prediction Error.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12899/asr-907

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