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Research article2022Peer reviewedOpen access

Effects of retained dead wood on predation pressure on herbivores in young pine forests

Nordkvist, Michelle; Jonsson, Stephanie; Jonsell, Mats; Klapwijk, Maartje Johanna


Retention of logging residue as dead wood could be a method to simultaneously increase biodiversity and predation rates of pest insects, in managed forests. Managed forests are generally low in diversity, and dead wood has been demonstrated to increase species diversity. Moreover, managed forests are predicted to suffer from higher frequency of insect outbreaks in the future, particularly in the northern hemisphere. In this study, we explore the effect of dead wood removal and addition in managed pine forest stands in Sweden on arthropod diversity and abundance and predation rates. We performed a controlled field experiment, focusing on logging residue type of dead wood. We used pitfall traps and sticky traps to measure arthropod diversity and abundance and plasticine larvae to assess predation rates. We specifically targeted generalist arthropods (i.e. non-wood living species), and predation rate on tree-dwelling larvae (corresponding to defoliating outbreak pests). We found no effect of dead wood addition on arthropod abundance or diversity, neither did we find an effect on predation rate. Despite the lack of effects in our study, we argue that dead wood can be an important component for both biodiversity of generalist arthropod and for pest control, but the effect may depend on both the specific arthropod group targeted and the specific life stage of the pest insect as well as on inherent components of the dead wood, such as age.

Published in

2022, Volume: 17, number: 9, article number: e0273741