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Effects of forest continuity on flying saproxylic beetle assemblages in small woodlots embedded in agricultural landscapes

Abstract : Ancient forests are of considerable interest for strategies for biodiversity conservation. However, in European forest landscapes fragmented and harvested for a long time forest continuity might be no longer a key driver for flying organisms such as saproxylic beetles. In a study based on paired samples (n = 60 stands, p = 180 traps) of ancient and recent forests, we investigated the effects of forest continuity on saproxylic beetle assemblages in two French regions. Mean species richness was significantly related with deadwood volume in ancient forests, but not in recent forests. This loss of relationship between assemblages and their environment suggests that dispersal limitation is at work, at least for some species. Forest continuity had a significant effect on mean species richness and on the mean number of common species, but not on rare species. Forest continuity had a significant effect on assemblage composition in one out of the four cases tested. In both regions, we identified species associated with either recent or ancient forests. Finally, mean body size of species was significantly smaller in recent forests compared with ancient ones, as was their tree diameter preference, despite a higher volume of large deadwood in recent forests. These results lend support to using forest continuity as a criterion to identify sites of conservation importance, even in highly fragmented landscapes.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-02605004
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Submitted on : Saturday, May 16, 2020 - 10:21:07 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, February 17, 2021 - 3:32:51 AM

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Antoine Brin, Lionel Valladares, Sylvie Ladet, Christophe Bouget. Effects of forest continuity on flying saproxylic beetle assemblages in small woodlots embedded in agricultural landscapes. Biodiversity and Conservation, Springer Verlag, 2016, 25 (3), pp.587-602. ⟨10.1007/s10531-016-1076-z⟩. ⟨hal-02605004⟩

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