Dead trees left in clear-cuts benefit saproxylic Coleoptera adapted to natural disturbances in boreal forest

  • Kaila L
  • Martikainen P
  • Punttila P
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Forest management alters the pattern of forest dynamics from that in natural conditions in the boreal region. In order to examine how certain forestry measures matching natural dynamics a€ect forest insects, we compared assemblages of saproxylic Coleoptera on dead, standing birch trunks left behind in eight clear-cut areas with corresponding assemblages in seven mature forests in southern and eastern Finland. We used trunk-window traps for sampling. Distinct beetle assemblages were asso-ciated with the di€erent habitats. Median numbers of species or specimens caught did not di€er between closed forests and clear-cuts, but individual beetle species occurred unevenly among the habitats. Several beetle species associated with open forest habitat, e.g. burned forests or storm-damage areas, including species regarded as threatened in Finland, were found almost exclusively, in clear-cuts. Correspondingly, a number of beetle species occurring frequently in closed forests were not found in clear-cuts. We conclude that dead trunks left in the clear-cut areas may host not only generalist saproxylic species but also many beetle species specialized to warm, sun-exposed en-vironments, and such species may not be able to survive in closed forests. Management measures matching suppressed natural disturbances are found useful in preserving diversity in managed forests.

Author-supplied keywords

  • clear-cut
  • conservation
  • decaying birch
  • diversity
  • management
  • saproxylic Coleoptera

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  • Lauri Kaila

  • Petri Martikainen

  • Pekka Punttila

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