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01.12.2008 | Original Paper | Ausgabe 13/2008

Biodiversity and Conservation 13/2008

Plant and arthropod communities in young oak stands: are they determined by site history?

Zeitschrift:
Biodiversity and Conservation > Ausgabe 13/2008
Autoren:
Martin Goßner, Kerstin Engel, Beate Jessel
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1007/​s10531-008-9418-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Abstract

Effect of site history on forest plant and insect communities was studied by comparing afforestations on former agricultural land with reafforestations on ancient woodland sites. Vascular plants, mosses, true bugs, lacewings and saproxylic beetles were surveyed at 18 young broadleaved forest sites dominated by oak (Quercus robur), established between 1986 and 1994 in three different growth regions in Bavaria, Germany. Two strata, near ground level and the canopy, were sampled. Compared to woodland reafforestations greater species density and abundance of plants and true bugs were observed in field layer of afforestation sites. Proportion of forest species among plants and true bugs was however significantly lower in afforestations than on ancient woodland sites. In the canopy, zoo-phytophagous true bugs were significantly better represented in afforestations and zoophagous true bugs in reafforestations. Saproxylic beetles, especially inhabitants of old dead wood, were species-poor in afforestations. Results indicate that site history affects both producer and consumer communities in multiple ways, even 20 years after afforestation of former agricultural land. However, afforestations adjacent to existing forest stands can be regarded as valuable to nature conservation in effectively extending forest habitats. Investment in such afforestation therefore represents more than just an agricultural subsidy.

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