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When nature meets the divine: effect of prohibition regimes on the structure and tree-species composition of sacred forests in Northern Greece. / Marini Govigli, Valentino; Healey, John; Wong, Jennifer; Stara, Kaliopi; Tsiakiris, Rigas; Halley, John.

In: Web Ecology, 23.06.2020.

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Marini Govigli, V., Healey, J., Wong, J., Stara, K., Tsiakiris, R., & Halley, J. (Accepted/In press). When nature meets the divine: effect of prohibition regimes on the structure and tree-species composition of sacred forests in Northern Greece. Web Ecology.

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Marini Govigli, Valentino ; Healey, John ; Wong, Jennifer ; Stara, Kaliopi ; Tsiakiris, Rigas ; Halley, John. / When nature meets the divine: effect of prohibition regimes on the structure and tree-species composition of sacred forests in Northern Greece. In: Web Ecology. 2020.

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TY - JOUR

T1 - When nature meets the divine: effect of prohibition regimes on the structure and tree-species composition of sacred forests in Northern Greece

AU - Marini Govigli, Valentino

AU - Healey, John

AU - Wong, Jennifer

AU - Stara, Kaliopi

AU - Tsiakiris, Rigas

AU - Halley, John

PY - 2020/6/23

Y1 - 2020/6/23

N2 - Sacred forests are an integral component of the mountainous cultural landscape of northern Greece, hypothesized to be the result of both ecological processes and site-specific forest management regimes through strict religious prohibition. These practices acted as constraints on natural forest development by suppressing understorey growth, while prohibition of woodcutting has preserved large trees. The aim of this study was to investigate the relative effects of physical site environment and management regimes on the structure and composition of woody plant groups in six such forests. Species rank-abundance curves, dissimilarity indices and cluster analyses were used to assess variation within and amongst the woody plant groups of the sites. Species abundance was found to be highly variable amongst the sites, with notable variation between canopy and understorey layers indicating dynamic change in floristics and structure. Cluster analysis revealed four main woody plant groups statistically associated with environmental variables (aspect) and forest management (different forest prohibition regimes, and presence/absence of infrastructure). Our results indicate that tree composition in sacred forests is associated with variation in environmental variables as well as with prohibition regimes. Exploring further the role of traditional management systems in shaping sacred forests structure is a relevant research path for designing effective conservation practices tailored to sacred natural sites facing cultural abandonment.

AB - Sacred forests are an integral component of the mountainous cultural landscape of northern Greece, hypothesized to be the result of both ecological processes and site-specific forest management regimes through strict religious prohibition. These practices acted as constraints on natural forest development by suppressing understorey growth, while prohibition of woodcutting has preserved large trees. The aim of this study was to investigate the relative effects of physical site environment and management regimes on the structure and composition of woody plant groups in six such forests. Species rank-abundance curves, dissimilarity indices and cluster analyses were used to assess variation within and amongst the woody plant groups of the sites. Species abundance was found to be highly variable amongst the sites, with notable variation between canopy and understorey layers indicating dynamic change in floristics and structure. Cluster analysis revealed four main woody plant groups statistically associated with environmental variables (aspect) and forest management (different forest prohibition regimes, and presence/absence of infrastructure). Our results indicate that tree composition in sacred forests is associated with variation in environmental variables as well as with prohibition regimes. Exploring further the role of traditional management systems in shaping sacred forests structure is a relevant research path for designing effective conservation practices tailored to sacred natural sites facing cultural abandonment.

M3 - Article

JO - Web Ecology

JF - Web Ecology

SN - 2193-3081

ER -