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01.08.2013 | Original Paper | Ausgabe 9/2013

Biodiversity and Conservation 9/2013

In search of the best local habitat drivers for saproxylic beetle diversity in temperate deciduous forests

Zeitschrift:
Biodiversity and Conservation > Ausgabe 9/2013
Autoren:
C. Bouget, L. Larrieu, B. Nusillard, G. Parmain

Abstract

Deadwood-associated species are increasingly targeted in forest biodiversity conservation. In order to improve structural biodiversity indicators and sustainable management guidelines, we need to elucidate ecological and anthropogenic drivers of saproxylic diversity. Herein we aim to disentangle the effects of local habitat attributes which presumably drive saproxylic beetle communities in temperate lowland deciduous forests. We collected data on saproxylic beetles in 104 oak and 49 beech stands in seven French lowland forests and used deadwood, microhabitat and stand features (large trees, openness) as predictor variables to describe local forest conditions. Deadwood diversity and stand openness were consistent key habitat features for species richness and composition in deciduous forests. Large downed deadwood volume was a significant predictor of beetle species richness in oak forests only. In addition, the density of cavity- and fungus-bearing trees had weak but significant effects. We recommend that forest managers favor the local diversification of deadwood types, especially the number of combinations of deadwood positions and tree species, the retention of large downed deadwood and microhabitat-bearing trees in order to maximize the saproxylic beetle diversity at the stand scale in deciduous forests. To improve our understanding of deadwood-biodiversity relationships, further research should be based on targeted surveys on species-microhabitat relationships and should investigate the role of landscape-scale deadwood resources and of historical gaps in continuity of key features availability at the local scale.

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