Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Conference papers

Exploring the "last biotic frontier": are temperate forest canopy special for saproxylic beetles?

Abstract : Conserving saproxylic beetles in a complex forest landscape will require knowledge about the habitat requirements of most species to prioritize actions or to make informed decisions. As well as tropical forests, temperate forests are also stratified but patterns are similarly not well established. There remains great uncertainty about how much temperate forest canopies contribute to global species richness estimates and the relative specialization of insect species to vertical zones. Are canopy special? How valuable are faunistical lists based on ground sampling? Would canopy-based sampling help establish more realistic estimates of species diversity in temperate hardwood forests? To compare diversity patterns of canopy and understory saproxylic beetles, we merged three French datasets in this study: the two first originated from an investigation of the fauna of different canopy or understory oak and maritime pine dead branches using emergence traps in lowland forests, and the third compared flying beetle faunas at canopy and understory levels in beech-fir stands in highland forests. Canopy vs understory saproxylic beetle assemblages were compared in terms of species richness, species composition and nestedness, indicator and discriminating species, and basic guild structure. Overall, the highest cumulative and mean species richness were observed in understory samples. More characteristic species were identified in understory deadwood than in canopy dead branches and a low overlap of shared species was measured. Assemblage composition significantly differed between canopy and understory. The dominant underlying process in the community divergence between understory and the canopy was spatial turnover and not nestedness in all cases. The 3 tree species showed significant differences in guild structure in understory and canopy samples. Our investigation demonstrated a significant but not sharp vertical stratification of saproxylic beetle assemblages in temperate forests and a lower contribution of forest canopy compared with understory strata to saproxylic beetle diversity.
Document type :
Conference papers
Complete list of metadata
Contributor : Migration Irstea Publications <>
Submitted on : Friday, May 15, 2020 - 5:07:19 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, February 17, 2021 - 3:32:52 AM


  • HAL Id : hal-02593290, version 1
  • IRSTEA : PUB00028899



Christophe Bouget, Antoine Brin, Hervé Brustel. Exploring the "last biotic frontier": are temperate forest canopy special for saproxylic beetles?. 6th European symposium and workshop on the conservation of saproxylic beetles, Jun 2010, Ljubljana, Slovenia. pp.22. ⟨hal-02593290⟩



Record views