[en] Fragmentation ; Land-use history ; Plant species richness ; Extinction debt ; Landscape ; Land use
[fr] Fragmentation ; Occupation du sol ; Paysage
[en] The spatio-temporal dynamics of wet heathlands from two landscapes in high Ardenne (Belgium), as well as the consequences of such dynamics on plant communities were investigated. Past and present destruction and origin of habitat patches have resulted in a complex network of different aged habitat patches. Current specialist and generalist species richness were assessed in 59 patches and analyzed with respect to present and past patch spatial metrics (controlled for habitat quality). Current patch area affected specialist species richness and current patch connectivity influenced both specialist and generalist species richness. Thirteen of the 59 patches were historical patches, i.e. patches that have remained since the 1770s. In these historical patches, including past landscape structure in the analysis explained more of the variability in current species richness than the current landscape structure alone, suggesting the existence of an extinction debt.
Fonds de la Recherche Fondamentale Collective d'Initiative des Chercheurs - FRFC ; Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (Communauté française de Belgique) - F.R.S.-FNRS