Dead-wood addition promotes non-saproxylic epigeal arthropods but effects are mediated by canopy openness

Abstract

Restoring dead-wood amounts in forests is an increasingly and successfully applied conservation measure to counteract negative effects of intensive logging on biodiversity of saproxylic taxa. By contrast, if and how dead-wood addition bene?ts the vast number of non-saproxylic forest taxa, and how this varies with contextual factors like canopy openness, remains poorly understood. To enhance dead-wood addition strategies, it is thus important to understand how dead wood affects entire forests communities, not just saproxylic taxa. To untangle effects of dead-wood addition and canopy openness on non-saproxylic epigeal arthropods, we exposed different amounts of logs and branches on 190 0.1-ha plots located in sunny or shady mixed montane forests and sampled epigeal arthropods over three years. Canopy openness was a major driver of species assemblage omposition and clearly mediated the effects of dead wood on epigeal beetles, spiders/harvestmen and springtails. Most species groups responded positively to the addition of dead wood. All groups decreased in number with increasing dis- tance to dead wood. Dead wood affected taxa of both lower and higher trophic levels directly and taxa of higher trophic levels bene?tted also indirectly owing to bottom-up effects. Our results indicate that increasing the amount of dead wood for conservation of saproxylic taxa bene?ts also non-saproxylic epigeal arthropods and thus, a larger number of forest species than commonly assumed. Because of the strong effects of canopy open- ness, similar to those found for saproxylic taxa, dead wood in both sunny and shady forest stands is needed.

  • Citation: Seibold, Sebastian; Bässler, Claus; Baldrian, Petr; Reinhard, Lena; Thorn, Simon; Ulyshen, Michael D.; Weiß, Ingmar; Müller, Jörg 2016. Dead-wood addition promotes non-saproxylic epigeal arthropods but effects are mediated by canopy openness. Biological Conservation. 204: 181-188. 8 p. DOI:10.1016/j.biocon.2016.09.031

Requesting Print Publications

Publication requests are subject to availability. Fiscal responsibility limits the hardcopies of publications we produce and distribute. Electronic versions of publications may be downloaded, distributed and printed.

Please make any requests at pubrequest@fs.fed.us.

Publication Notes

  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
  • Our online publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact the SRS webmaster if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
  • To view this article, download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.