Les microhabitats des arbres : facteurs d'influence, lien avec la biodiversité et potentiel indicateur

Abstract : An indicator is a tool to measure metrics or phenomenons too complex or costly to measure directly. In the case of biodiversity, indicators are essential regarding the complexity to assess species state and dynamics. In forest, tree microhabitats (e.g.cavities, cracks in the wood, conks of lignicolous fungi) have been recently considered as a potential biodiversity indicator, with a more specific focus than other structures like deadwood volume. However, scientific references linking tree microhabitat metrics and biodiversity measures are still rare, and limited to a few taxonomic groups. More generally, like other indicators, the validation process of microhabitats as biodiversity indicators is not standardized. This ph-d thesis contributes to this validation and adresses three aspects included in an indicator validation process. The main aims were to: (i)Quantify and reduce incertitudes on tree microhabitat inventories. We thus proposed a first reference typology to standardize and homogenize microhabitats inventories. This typology has a hierarchical and evolutive structure, which allows its use in different contexts and for different purposes. We also quantified the potential bias linked to observer effects, in order to better take it into account in future inventories ; (ii) Better understand the influence of different factors on tree microhabitats at two different scales. At the tree scale, through the analysis of a national database, we generalized the relationships between tree characteristics (species, diameter, vitality) and number and occurrence of tree microhabitats. At the stand scale, we analysed the densities and types of microhabitat-bearing trees on an enlarged forest management gradient, comparing strict reserves and managed forests. These two studies evidenced the crucial role of large trees and snags in the provision of tree microhabitats ; (iii) Link tree microhabitats with the biodiversity of three taxonomic groups through the framework of structural equation models. We showed that microhabitats mediate the effects of management abandonment and old-growth forest features (large living and dead trees) on the biodiversity of birds and bats, and to a lesser extent on saproxylic beetles. In the end, tree microhabitat are not a universal biodiversity indicator but have a complementary role compared to other forest structures traditionally used to assess biodiversity. This ph-d thesis specifies the role of tree microhabitats as biodiversity indicators and proposes further research to continue validating them as such.
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Yoan Paillet. Les microhabitats des arbres : facteurs d'influence, lien avec la biodiversité et potentiel indicateur. Biodiversité et Ecologie. Museum national d'histoire naturelle - MNHN PARIS; Écosystèmes forestiers (Nogent-sur-Vernisson, Loiret), 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018MNHN0028⟩. ⟨tel-02197757⟩

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