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Title: Predicting the trends of vertebrate species richness as a response to wind farms installation in mountain ecosystems of northwest Portugal.
Authors: Santos, Mário
Bastos, Rita
Travassos, Paulo
Bessa, Regina
Repas, Miguel
Cabral, João Alexandre
Keywords: Stochastic dynamic methodology
Wind farms
Ecological integrity
Ecological indicators
Species richness
Ecological Impact Assessments
Issue Date: 2010
Citation: Santos M. et al, 2010
Abstract: The main objectives of this work were to examine the performance of a holistic stochastic dynamic methodology (StDM) in predicting the trends of the vertebrate species richness (amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals) in response to changes induced by the ongoing wind farminstallation in mountain areas of northwest Portugal. The StDM is a sequential modelling process developed in order to estimate the ecological status of changed ecosystems that have been damaged by anthropogenic disturbances. The performance of two complementary temporal approaches was tested, taking into account either annual or seasonal influences. The data used in the dynamic model construction included true gradients of environmental changes and was sampled from 2004 to 2006. The dynamic model developed was preceded by a conventional multivariate statistical procedure performed to discriminate the significant relationships between the selected ecological components, such as the species richness of each vertebrate group and the structural changes in habitat conditions. The results show the capacity of the model in capturing the dynamics of the studied system by predicting consistent trends for the global vertebrate species richness under complex and variable environmental scenarios. The average annual approach is considered sufficient for the aims of the most Environmental Impact Assessments while the seasonal approach is recommended for more detailed studies, namely regarding specific population, guilds or community dynamics.
Peer Reviewed: yes
Document Type: Article
Appears in Collections:DEBA - Artigo publicado em Revista Científica Indexada

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