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Research article2024Peer reviewedOpen access

Density of dispersal sources affects to what extent restored habitat is used: A case study on a red-listed wood-dependent beetle

Djupstrom, Line B.; Johansson, Victor; Lindman, Ly; Schroeder, Martin; Weslien, Jan; Ranius, Thomas

Abstract

When restoring habitats, an important question is whether the spatial distribution of habitat affects its contribution to biodiversity conservation. In Sweden, high-cut stumps are routinely created at forestry operations. By counting the number of exit holes of a red-listed beetle, Peltis grossa, we assessed occurrence, colonisations and extinctions per high-cut stump and beetle density per clear-cut. We found a threshold, at which the form of the relationship between density of the beetle and density of high-cut stumps per clear-cut changes abruptly. The beetle density was considerably higher where the density of high-cut stumps exceeded 4.5 per hectare. Such thresholds can be explained by colonisation-extinction processes. Observed colonisation-extinction dynamics were consistent with metapopulation theory. For instance, there was a positive relationship between colonisation rate and a connectivity measure that considered beetle abundance and distance for each high-cut stump in the surrounding area. However, the relationship disappeared when using a connectivity measure solely based on the distance of the high-cut stumps. The observed threshold implies that P. grossa benefits from aggregating the same total number of created high-cut stumps into fewer clear-cuts. This is because the total area with a density of high-cut stumps exceeding the threshold increases, and this expands the number and size of dispersal sources. Therefore, P. grossa and other species that reveal thresholds in their distribution patterns, are favoured when conservation measures are more spatially aggregated than what is resulting from current Swedish policy.

Keywords

Connectivity; Metapopulation; High -cut stumps; Colonisation probability

Published in

Forest Ecology and Management
2024, Volume: 555, article number: 121716Publisher: ELSEVIER