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Macagno A.L.M.,CNBFVR Ctro. Nazionale per lo Studio e Conserv. della Biodiversita Forestale Bosco Fontana di Verona | Macagno A.L.M.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Hardersen S.,CNBFVR Ctro. Nazionale per lo Studio e Conserv. della Biodiversita Forestale Bosco Fontana di Verona | Nardi G.,CNBFVR Ctro. Nazionale per lo Studio e Conserv. della Biodiversita Forestale Bosco Fontana di Verona | And 3 more authors.
European Journal of Entomology | Year: 2015

Saproxylic organisms play a key role in a variety of forest ecosystem functions, which result in an increase in overall forest productivity and biodiversity. At present, dead wood is frequently removed from exploited forests. Estimating the effect of current forest management on biodiversity, and what gain in biodiversity would result from implementing restoration programs, requires the use of standardized sampling protocols. These protocols need to be suitable for use in different sampling areas and cost effective. In this paper, we developed, tested, and optimized a method for sampling saproxylic insects during a single visit to a sample site (i.e., the "grab-and-go" method). In the spring of 2011, we collected samples of downed decaying small and medium diameter wood debris in two Italian beech forests: Sega di Ala (Alps) and Vallombrosa (Apennines). We used ex situ emergence traps in the laboratory to collect the beetles emerging from the wood sampled. At both sites, the minimum number of wood samples that resulted in a satisfactory description of the saproxylic beetle assemblage was 20. Wood moisture, mean diameter, and geographical location were significantly associated with the beetle assemblages. We discuss the implications of using the "grab-and-go" method in large-scale forest monitoring programs. In this context, we recommend collecting at each site twenty 50 cm-long samples of wood lying on top of the litter, with a diameter of 12 ± 2 cm, cortex cover < 50%, and at Hunter's stage of decay class 2.

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