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Comparable benefits of land sparing and sharing indicated by bird responses to stand-level plantation intensity in Hokkaido, northern Japan

Yoshii, Chiaki, Yamaura, Yuichi, Soga, Masashi, Shibuya, Masato, Nakamura, Futoshi
Journal of forest research 2015 v.20 no.1 pp. 167-174
Abies sachalinensis, Picea glehnii, biodiversity, birds, conifers, decision making, forestry, land use, landscapes, linear models, plantations, population density, Japan
We examined potentially contrasting conservation benefits of land sparing (land-use specialization) and land sharing (multiple-use forestry) strategies in forested landscapes by investigating relationships between bird functional group densities and basal areas of coniferous trees (an index of plantation intensity) in Sakhalin fir (Abies sachalinensis) and Sakhalin spruce (Picea glehnii) plantations. Densities of most bird functional groups increased with decreasing plantation intensity in both plantation types. In many cases, linear models were best for descriptors of bird density–plantation intensity relationships, but statistical support of linear and nonlinear (quadratic) models was similar. This outcome indicates that ecological benefits of land sparing and land sharing are potentially comparable in the plantations we studied. In real landscapes, land-use decision making depends on a variety of factors other than biodiversity conservation (e.g., social and biophysical factors). Furthermore, niche theory also predicts that population densities could linearly respond to environmental gradients. When density–intensity relationships are linear, as in this study, land-sparing and land-sharing strategies provide similar benefits in terms of biodiversity conservation, and contrasting land-use strategies could be flexibly chosen to enhance the accommodation of biodiversity conservation to resource production.