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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2015

Relative importance of habitat characteristics at multiple spatial scales for wood-dependent beetles in boreal forest

Ranius, Thomas; Johansson, Victor; Schroeder, Martin; Caruso, Alexandro


Species distributions are influenced by habitat conditions and ecological processes at multiple spatial scales. An understanding of the importance of habitat characteristics at different spatial scales is important when developing biodiversity conservation measures.We investigated the effect of habitat characteristics or amount at three spatial scales on the occurrence of saproxylic (=dead wood-dependent) beetles.Saproxylic beetles were sampled under the bark of dead wood in a managed forest landscape in central Sweden. We modelled the occurrence probability in dead wood items of 44 species (all species occurring in > 2 % of the items), based on dead wood item characteristics, forest stand characteristics, and habitat connectivity (i.e. area of potentially suitable forest stands in the surrounding of each stand), using hierarchical Bayesian regression.For the majority of species, dead wood item characteristics (especially tree species and whether standing or downed) were more important than measured stand characteristics and habitat connectivity. Whether the stands were clear-cuts, mature forests, or reserves affected some species, whereas the stand-level amount of dead wood per hectare was not important for any species. Habitat connectivity improved the occurrence models for about a half of the species, but there were both positive and negative relationships, and they were generally weak.Forest management should include creation and retention of a high diversity of dead wood to sustain habitat for all species. In a forest-dominated landscape, the spatial distribution of dead wood is of little importance for common saproxylic beetle species.


Connectivity; Dead wood; Hierarchical Bayesian regression; Island effect; Occurrence patterns; Sampling effect; Saproxylic beetles; Threshold

Published in

Landscape Ecology
2015, volume: 30, number: 10, pages: 1931-1942
Publisher: SPRINGER

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology
Johansson, Victor
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology
Caruso, Alexandro
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology

Associated SLU-program

SLU Future Forests

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG15 Life on land

UKÄ Subject classification


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