Conifer-plantation thinning restores reptile biodiversity in Mediterranean landscapes

  • Published source details Azor J.S., Santos X. & Pleguezuelos J.M. (2015) Conifer-plantation thinning restores reptile biodiversity in Mediterranean landscapes. Forest Ecology and Management, 354, 185-189.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Thin trees within forests

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Thin trees within forests

    A replicated, controlled study in 2014 in pine forest in Granada, Spain (Azor et al. 2015) found that thinning trees in commercial forest by 66% increased reptile abundance but not species richness compared to thinning by 50% or no thinning. Reptile abundance was greater in 66%-thinned forest (11 reptiles/plot) compared to 50%-thinned (3 reptiles/plot) or unthinned forest (3 reptiles/plot) but similar to reptile abundance in open landscape (9 reptiles/plot). Reptile species richness was similar in 66%-thinned (2 species/plot), 50%-thinned (1 species/plot) and unthinned forest (1 species/plot), but lower than species richness in open landscape (3 species/plot). In 2010, a pine plantation with 600 trees/ha was managed by thinning 66% and 50% of trees in 20–37 ha areas. Reptiles were surveyed using a visual encounter method along u-shaped line transects in May-June 2014 in four plots each of 66% thinning, 50% thinning, as well as in four plots each with no tree thinning and in adjacent open landscape (all plots 100 x 35 m, 16 total plots). Each plot was surveyed four times at least five days apart.

    (Summarised by: Katie Sainsbury)

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