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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2009

Restoration of beech forest for saproxylic beetles-effects of habitat fragmentation and substrate density on species diversity and distribution

Brunet Jörg, Isacsson Gunnar


The influence of spatial location and density of beech snags on species diversity and distribution patterns of saproxylic beetles was studied in a 2,400 ha forest landscape in southern Sweden. Complete snag surveys were combined with a beetle survey using small window traps directly attached to the beech snags. The density of beech snags a parts per thousand yen30 cm dbh varied between one and seven snags per ha within the study area, corresponding to 1.1-5.1 m(3)/ha. A total of 2,610 specimens of 180 saproxylic beetles species were trapped, of which 19 species were red-listed. Within the study area, the number of red-listed and formerly red-listed species was highest around traps in old-growth stands, intermediate in managed stands contiguous with old-growth and lowest in managed stands isolated from old-growth by a two km-wide zone without beech forest. Logistic regressions revealed negative relationships between distance to old-growth forest and occurrence of eleven species, among them six red-listed or formerly red-listed species. The number of non red-listed species was not correlated with isolation from old-growth forest. The number of red-listed species also increased with snag density within 200-300 m around the traps. Our results suggest that red-listed species generally have a lower dispersal capacity than other saproxylic beetles. We conclude that retention of dead wood close to existing populations is more beneficial for red-listed species than an even distribution of snags across the forest landscape.


Beech snags; Coarse woody debris; Dispersal limitation; Red-listed species; Southern Sweden; Window traps

Published in

Biodiversity and Conservation
2009, volume: 18, number: 9, pages: 2387-2404

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Southern Swedish Forest Research Centre
Isacsson, Gunnar

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG15 Life on land

UKÄ Subject classification

Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use

Publication Identifiers


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