EVOLution of TREEs as drivers
of terrestrial biodiversity

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ISS Landes

Site Name: Landes of Gascony
Correspondant: INRA
Country: France
Latitude / Longitude: 001°05' W / 44°13' N
Elevation: 46m
Total Area: 25.600ha
Ecosystem: intensively managed
Tree Species: Alnus, Betula, Castanea, Corylus, Crataegus, Fagus, Fraxinus, Pinus, Prunus, Quercus, Salix, Sorbus
Land Ownership: mainly private
Protection: includes Natura 2000
Relation to: FORESEE

 Download Landes ISS Proposal


Long Term Perspective

The afforsted area has been mainly privately owned since its creation, it is unlikely that this state will change to any other type of land use. The main part of the proposed site is composed of maritime pine plantations with the function of wood production. Nevertheless, maritime pine plantations do have a conservation value. They host ca. 60 families of saproxylic beetles, 40 butterfly species of which two are nationally threatened, 60 bird species among which the protected species Upupa epops, 110 vascular plant, 60 carabid and 110 spider species.

Scientific Value

Although the site is mainly made of pure pine plantations, it shows a compositional and structural diversity at both stand and landscape levels. The diversity within pine stands is mainly due to variation in understorey vegetation that depends on stand age, management (thinning operations) and site quality (water supply). The site shows a remarkable geo-morphological homogeneity with a general absence of slope and a uniform soil composition (podzol). The only source of variation is the soil humidity depending on the depth of the water table, which can qualify three main site conditions, humid, mesophilous and dry heaths respectively.

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