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Research article2015Peer reviewedOpen access

Wood-Inhabiting Beetles in Low Stumps, High Stumps and Logs on Boreal Clear-Cuts: Implications for Dead Wood Management

Andersson, Jon; Hjältén, Joakim; Dynesius, Mats


The increasing demand for biofuels from logging residues require serious attention on the importance of dead wood substrates on clear-cuts for the many forestry-intolerant saproxylic (wood-inhabiting) species. In particular, the emerging harvest of low stumps motivates further study of these substrates. On ten clear-cuts we compared the species richness, abundance and species composition of saproxylic beetles hatching from four to nine year old low stumps, high stumps and logs of Norway spruce. By using emergence traps we collected a total of 2,670 saproxylic beetles among 195 species during the summers of 2006, 2007 and 2009. We found that the species assemblages differed significantly between high stumps and logs all three years. The species assemblages of low stumps, on the other hand, were intermediate to those found in logs and high stumps. There were also significant difference in species richness between the three examined years, and we found significant effect of substrate type on richness of predators and fungivores. As shown in previous studies of low stumps on clear-cuts they can sustain large numbers of different saproxylic beetles, including red-listed species. Our study does, in addition to this fact, highlight a possible problem in creating just one type of substrate as a tool for conservation in forestry. Species assemblages in high stumps did not differ significantly from those found in low stumps. Instead logs, which constitute a scarcer substrate type on clear-cuts, provided habitat for a more distinct assemblage of saproxylic species than high stumps. It can therefore be questioned whether high stumps are an optimal tool for nature conservation in clear-cutting forestry. Our results also indicate that low stumps constitute an equally important substrate as high stumps and logs, and we therefore suggest that stump harvesting is done after carefully evaluating measures to provide habitat for saproxylic organisms.

Published in

2015, Volume: 10, number: 3, article number: e0118896
Publisher: Public Library of Science

      SLU Authors

        Associated SLU-program


        Sustainable Development Goals

        Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

        UKÄ Subject classification

        Forest Science

        Publication identifier


        Permanent link to this page (URI)