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Research article2022Peer reviewedOpen access

Microclimatic conditions mediate the effect of deadwood and forest characteristics on a threatened beetle species, Tragosoma depsarium

Lindman, Ly; Ockinger, Erik; Ranius, Thomas


While climate change has increased the interest in the influence of microclimate on many organisms, species inhabiting deadwood have rarely been studied. Here, we explore how characteristics of forest stands and deadwood affect microclimate inside deadwood, and analyse how this affects wood-living organisms, exemplified by the red-listed beetle Tragosoma depsarium. Deadwood and forest variables explained much of the variation in temperature, but less of the variation in moisture within deadwood. Several variables known to influence habitat quality for deadwood-dependent species were found to correlate with microclimate. Standing deadwood and an open canopy generates warmer conditions in comparison to downed logs and a closed canopy, and shaded, downed and large-diameter wood have higher moisture and more stable daily temperatures than sun-exposed, standing, and small-diameter wood. T. depsarium occupancy and abundance increased with colder and more stable winter temperatures, and with higher spring temperatures. Consistently, the species occurred more frequently in deadwood items with characteristics associated with these conditions, i.e. downed large-diameter logs occurring in open conditions. Conclusively, microclimatic conditions were found to be important for a deadwood-dependent insect, and related to characteristics of both forest stands and deadwood items. Since microclimate is also affected by macroclimatic conditions, we expect species' habitat requirements to vary locally and regionally, and to change due to climate warming. Although many saproxylic species preferring sun-exposed conditions would benefit from a warmer climate per se, changes in species interactions and land use may still result in negative net effects of climate warming.


Data-logger; Habitat; Moisture; Saproxylic; Temperature

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2022, Volume: 199, pages: 737-752
Publisher: SPRINGER

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        SDG13 Climate action

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