Oak woodland restoration: testing the effects on biodiversity of mycetophilids in southern Sweden

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2007
Authors:Okland, B., Gotmark, F., Norden B.
Journal:Biodiversity and Conservation

The effect of harvesting biofuel and woodland restoration on biodiversity is debated. To evaluate the effects of partial cutting on more organism groups, we used pairwise experimental and undisturbed control stands in a large landscape. On average 26% of the basal area including 50-95% of the understorey was harvested at each of 15 oak-rich forest sites. Our earlier results of partial cutting suggested a positive short-term effect for vascular plants and beetles and no or minor negative effects for fungi. Here we analyse the response of mycetophilids (Diptera: Sciaroidea excl. Sciaridae), a neglected but species-rich insect group that was strongly disfavoured by clear-cutting in previous studies. Increased deadwood (slash) caused increase in the number of individuals of mycetophilids associated with wood or wood fungi. The rarefaction species numbers of mycetophilids declined after the treatment, but the absolute number of species was not affected. Our results indicate that a 25% harvest can be compatible with conservation of vascular plants, fungi, saproxylic and herbivorous beetles and mycetophilids in temperate hardwood stands of the type studied. However, more studies are needed to determine what level(s) of stand thinning can be tolerated by different taxa in landscapes with small fragmented conservation stands.

Mon, 2009-08-10 15:46 -- vblago

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