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Umeå, Sweden

Muller J.,Bavarian Forest National Park | Muller J.,TU Munich | Brunet J.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Brin A.,Purpan Engineering School | And 8 more authors.
Insect Conservation and Diversity | Year: 2013

1.European Beech (Fagus sylvatica) is the natural dominant tree species in many forests across Europe. Despite Europe's global responsibility for these forests, the correct conservation strategies are still a matter of debate. In particular, it remains controversial whether high conservation efforts should be directed towards beech forests, owing to the small number of insects that are Fagus specialists, and at what spatial scale conservation should take place. 2.To provide evidence for this discussion, we compiled saproxylic beetle data from 1115 flight-interception traps in eight countries and addressed two main questions: (i) what percentage of central European species can be expected in beech-dominated forests? and (ii) which are the important spatial scales for the conservation of biodiversity in beech-dominated forests? 3.We included six spatial scales in our analysis: among traps, forest stands, forest sites, low/high elevations, oligo/eutrophic soils, and European bioregions. 4.By extrapolating species numbers, we showed that 70% of the central European saproxylic beetle species can be expected in beech-dominated forests. Multiplicative β-diversity partitioning revealed the forest site level as the most important diversity scale for species richness, particularly for red-listed and rare species, followed by elevation and bioregion. 5.We conclude that beech-dominated forests form a useful umbrella for the high species diversity of central European saproxylic beetles. Conservation activities, such as protecting areas or increasing dead wood, should be undertaken in as many forest sites as possible, at different elevations, and in different bioregions. For this, the Natura 2000 net may provide the most useful template. © 2012 The Royal Entomological Society. Source

Gossner M.M.,TU Munich | Lachat T.,Swiss Federal Institute of forest | Brunet J.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Isacsson G.,Swedish Forest Agency | And 5 more authors.
Conservation Biology | Year: 2013

With the aim of wood production with negligible negative effects on biodiversity and ecosystem processes, a silvicultural practice of selective logging with natural regeneration has been implemented in European beech forests (Fagus sylvatica) during the last decades. Despite this near-to-nature strategy, species richness of various taxa is lower in these forests than in unmanaged forests. To develop guidelines to minimize the fundamental weaknesses in the current practice, we linked functional traits of saproxylic beetle species to ecosystem characteristics. We used continental-scale data from 8 European countries and regional-scale data from a large forest in southern Germany and forest-stand variables that represented a gradient of intensity of forest use to evaluate the effect of current near-to-nature management strategies on the functional diversity of saproxylic beetles. Forest-stand variables did not have a statistically significant effect on overall functional diversity, but they did significantly affect community mean and diversity of single functional traits. As the amount of dead wood increased the composition of assemblages shifted toward dominance of larger species and species preferring dead wood of large diameter and in advanced stages of decay. The mean amount of dead wood across plots in which most species occurred was from 20 to 60 m3/ha. Species occurring in plots with mean dead wood >60 m3/ha were consistently those inhabiting dead wood of large diameter and in advanced stages of decay. On the basis of our results, to make current wood-production practices in beech forests throughout Europe more conservation oriented (i.e., promoting biodiversity and ecosystem functioning), we recommend increasing the amount of dead wood to >20 m3/ha; not removing dead wood of large diameter (50 cm) and allowing more dead wood in advanced stages of decomposition to develop; and designating strict forest reserves, with their exceptionally high amounts of dead wood, that would serve as refuges for and sources of saproxylic habitat specialists. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology. Source

Gustafsson L.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Fedrowitz K.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Hazell P.,Swedish Forest Agency
Forest Ecology and Management | Year: 2013

Industrial forestry has caused large biodiversity changes in European boreal forests. One recently introduced conservation measure in production forestry is retention of trees at clearcutting to benefit flora and fauna. Aspen Populus tremula is often retained for conservation purposes since it is a key tree species for biodiversity with many associated species, a number of which are red-listed. Still, the importance to biodiversity of aspen trees retained at harvest is largely unknown. In 1994, a transplantation experiment with the old-growth forest indicator lichen Lobaria pulmonaria was set up on 280 aspens at 35 sites in east-central Sweden with a total of 1120 transplants, with the aim to assess the habitat suitability of retained aspens following harvest. After 14. years 23% of L. pulmonaria transplants remained, with a significantly higher survival on retained aspens than on aspens in the surrounding forest, especially on the northern side of stems. Transplants were also more vital on northern than on southern sides of stems. There was no difference in survival or vitality of transplants between dispersed aspens and aspens in groups. Results largely agreed with a re-inventory made already after two years but the importance of the north side of retention trees became evident for species survival only after 14. years, indicating that to gain deeper insights longer time-spans may be necessary. This study, which is the longest lichen transplantation time-series from a well replicated experiment so far published, shows that retention of trees at harvest may be an efficient conservation action. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. Source

Lachat T.,Swiss Federal Institute of forest | Wermelinger B.,Swiss Federal Institute of forest | Gossner M.M.,TU Munich | Bussler H.,Am Greifenkeller 1b | And 2 more authors.
Ecological Indicators | Year: 2012

Beech forests in Central Europe are under strong anthropogenic pressure. Yet they play a fundamental role for biodiversity and are therefore increasingly considered in conservation activities. Sites of high conservation value can be efficiently defined by the use of indicator species, but very few studies have identified indicator species for beech forests on a continental scale. Here we determined the efficacy of saproxylic beetles as indicator species for European beech forests and studied the effect of the amount of dead wood and temperature on their presence. We analyzed data from 988 trap catches from 209 sites in 7 European countries. Using the flexible indicator approach, which allowed combinations of two temperature groups (warm and cool) and three dead-wood amount categories (small, intermediate, high) to be considered, we identified 127 indicator species. Generally, we found more indicator species of beetles at warmer sites and at sites with larger amounts of dead wood. Indicator species at cooler sites were found only in combination with larger amounts of dead wood. We present a comprehensive, data-based list of indicator species of saproxylic beetle for near-natural beech forests, as required in the framework of the European Natura-2000 concept for habitat evaluation. We identified the conspicuous Lucanidae as the family with the highest percentage of indicator species and thus recommend it as a priority indicator group for monitoring. Our results furthermore provide evidence that large amounts of dead wood are particularly important in cool, montane beech forests for maintaining high diversity. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

Santoro M.,Gamma Remote Sensing | Pantze A.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Fransson J.E.S.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Dahlgren J.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Persson A.,Swedish Forest Agency
Remote Sensing | Year: 2012

Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS) Phased Array L-band type Synthetic Aperture Radar (PALSAR) backscatter images with 50 m pixel size (strip images) at HV-polarization were used to map clear-cuts at a regional and national level in Sweden. For a set of 31 clear-cuts, on average 59.9% of the pixels within each clear-cut were correctly detected. When compared with a one-pixel edge-eroded version of the reference dataset, the accuracy increased to 88.9%. With respect to statistics from the Swedish Forest Agency, county-wise clear-felled areas were underestimated by the ALOS PALSAR dataset (between 25% and 60%) due to the coarse resolution. When compared with statistics from the Swedish National Forest Inventory, the discrepancies were larger, partly due to the estimation errors from the plot-wise forest inventory data. In Sweden, for the time frame of 2008-2010, the total area felled was estimated to be 140,618 ha, 172,532 ha and 194,586 ha using data from ALOS PALSAR, the Swedish Forest Agency and the Swedish National Forest Inventory, respectively. ALOS PALSAR strip images at HV-polarization appear suitable for detection of clear-felled areas at a national level; nonetheless, the pixel size of 50 m is a limiting factor for accurate delineation of clear-felled areas. © 2012 by the authors. Source

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