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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2011

Retention of aspen (Populus tremulae) at final cuttings - The effect of dead wood characteristics on saproxylic beetles

Schroeder, Martin; Sahlin, Erik; Paltto, Heidi


To preserve biodiversity in managed forest landscapes dead and living trees are retained at final cuttings. In the present study we evaluated the effect of these practices for saproxylic (wood-dependent) beetles inhabiting dead aspen trees (Populus tremulae). For saproxylic beetles, tree retention at final cuttings can be expected to be especially valuable for species adapted to sun-exposed dead wood, a substrate that only rarely occurs in well managed forest stands. Therefore, the current evaluation was conducted as a comparison of species richness, species density (number of species per sample), assemblage composition and occurrence of individual species between clear-cuts, where aspen trees were retained, and closed forest stands with aspen trees. The study was conducted in central Sweden and the beetles were sampled by sieving of bark from CWD (coarse woody debris) of aspen. There was no significant difference in rarefied species richness between forest and clear-cut sites. Species composition differed significantly between the two stand types. Generalized linear mixed-effects models predicted the species density to be 34% lower in CWD objects in forest sites than on clear-cuts. This pattern could partly be explained by differences in CWD diameter, decay class and bark types between the two stand types (clear-cut/forest). Stand type was a significant predictor of occurrence in individual CWD objects for 30% of analysed individual beetle species. For all species except one, the variable stand type predicted higher occurrence on clear-cuts than in forest stands. To conclude, our results demonstrate that retention of aspen on clear-cuts contributes to population recruitment of a different assemblage of species than CWD within stands. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Aspen; Tree retention; Saproxylic beetles; Species richness; Species composition; Species density

Published in

Forest Ecology and Management
2011, Volume: 262, number: 5, pages: 853-862

      SLU Authors

    • Sustainable Development Goals

      SDG15 Life on land

      UKÄ Subject classification

      Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use
      Forest Science

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