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Research article2004Peer reviewed

Saproxylic beetles in natural and man-made deciduous high stumps retained for conservation

Jonsell M, Nitterus K, Stighall K


Intensive forest management in Scandinavia has decreased the amount of dead wood required by saproxylic (wood-living) organisms. To reduce this problem, some dead wood is now retained during forest operations, often in the form of man-made high stumps (ca. 4 m high). Most often these stumps are cut with a harvester, although the stumps in this study were made with explosives. The aims of this study were to determine whether such stumps of aspen (Populus tremula) and birch (Betula spp.) could be used by red-listed saproxylic beetles (Coleoptera), and to examine how the fauna of man-made high stumps differs from that of natural stumps. We also studied how tree species, sun-exposure, stage of decay and trunk diameter influenced the fauna. In 169 samples of bark from high stumps 116 saproxylic species were found, of which 21 were red-listed. Many species, including red-listed ones, were more associated with man-made stumps than with natural stumps. However, in total, more species were found in the natural than in the man-made stumps. This is probably because man-made stumps provide a more homogeneous type of wood substrate than natural ones. Among the other variables the difference between aspen and birch was the most important. We conclude that man-made high stumps are valuable habitats for many saproxylic beetle species. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved

Published in

Biological Conservation
2004, Volume: 118, number: 2, pages: 163-173

      SLU Authors

    • Jonsell, Mats

      • Department of Entomology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Forest Science
    Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use

    Publication identifier


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