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Research article2011Peer reviewed

Relative importance of thinned and clear-cut stands for bryophyte diversity on stumps

Rudolphi, Jörgen; Caruso, Alexandro; Maria, von Cräutlein; Sanna, Laaka-Lindberg; Riitta, Ryömä; Berglund, Håkan


The interest in harvesting logging residues in the form of stumps has recently increased markedly in the Nordic countries of Europe due to the steadily growing market for bio-fuel from forestry. Yet, stumps are currently harvested without a solid knowledge of their importance for forest organisms. To assess the relative importance of thinned, clear-cut, and burned clear-cut stands for the diversity of bryophytes on stumps we investigated bryophyte species composition and richness on 755 spruce stumps in 27 forest stands in southern-boreal Finland. Stumps were sampled within both wet and dry sites. For comparison we also surveyed bryophytes on 669 ground plots in the same stands to assess if patterns were consistent regardless of substrate type. Stand type (i.e. thinned, clear-cut, or burned clear-cut) was the main predictor of both species richness and composition on stumps. Stumps in thinned stands were more species rich than in clear-cuts, and the lowest richness was found on stumps in burned clear-cuts. Differences in species composition were explained by higher frequency of occurrence of species in thinned than in clear-cut stands. Thus, stumps in clear-cut stands tended to host a subset of species from the thinned stands, but there was also a pattern of turnover where different species were present in thinned and clear-cut stands, respectively. The results were similar for bryophytes on ground indicating that canopy cover strongly affected the diversity of bryophytes regardless of substrate. We conclude that stump harvest in open, clear-cut stands will probably have minor effects on bryophyte diversity on dead wood in the managed forest landscape. Conservation efforts in thinned stands (e.g. retention and creation of dead wood) may be important for promoting the diversity of bryophytes in managed forests


Biodiversity; CWD; Forest-fuel; Liverworts; Mosses; Stump removal

Published in

Forest Ecology and Management
2011, Volume: 261, number: 11, pages: 1911-1918

      SLU Authors

      • Sustainable Development Goals

        SDG15 Life on land

        UKÄ Subject classification

        Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use
        Forest Science
        Renewable Bioenergy Research

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