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Endemic Collembola, privileged bioindicators of forest management

Abstract : Our study compared the soil collembolan community at three semi-natural sites (a beech forest, a beechfir forest and a fir stand) and three managed sites (Norway spruce, beechfir and fir). Collembola were extracted from a total of 60 samples with a BerleseTullgren funnel, counted and identified to species level. A total of 7187 specimens, representing 51 species and 37 genera, were collected. There were significant differences between managed and natural forests (t-test, P=0.000). The communities and their population densities were significantly lower in the managed site: 51 species with 708,498 ind m−2 in the semi-natural forests to 36 species and 306,042 ind m−2 in the managed stands. The endemic component suffered a particularly severe decrease in species richness and abundance (57% and 71% lower in the managed forests, respectively). These species with narrow distribution and small local populations are doubly vulnerable to alterations of environmental conditions. They are very sensitive to loss of their natural habitat owing to human intervention and thus represent useful indicators of tolerance to environmental stress. We highlight the need to take endemic species into consideration in studies on the conservation of biodiversity because they are most at risk of extinction. Semi-natural forests are refuges for endemic species and should be protected.
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Nathalie Cassagne, Thierry Gauquelin, Marie-Claude Bal, C. Gers. Endemic Collembola, privileged bioindicators of forest management. Pedobiologia, Elsevier, 2006, 50 (2), pp.127-134. ⟨10.1016/j.pedobi.2005.10.002⟩. ⟨hal-02588683⟩



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