ZooKeys 2: 291-336, doi: 10.3897/zookeys.2.15
Saproxylic beetle (Coleoptera) communities and forest management practices in coniferous stands in southwest Nova Scotia, Canada
Philana Dollin, Christopher Majka, Peter Duinker
Abstract Old-growth forest in Nova Scotia typically exhibits an uneven-aged, multi-layered stand structure and contains significant amounts of coarse woody debris. Many forest species, including invertebrates, depend in various ways on deadwood substrates. The objective of this study was to investigate relationships between forest stand age, silvicultural treatment, dead wood, and invertebrate biodiversity, using saproxylic beetles as an indicator group. Saproxylic beetle communities were also compared in the context of other studies in Nova Scotia. Beetles were gathered using four collection techniques: pitfall traps, funnel traps, sweep-netting, and manual searching. Results show that both stand age and harvest treatment had an effect on species richness and species composition. Younger stands had lower species richness and hosted a significantly different suite of species than medium-aged or older ones. Similarly, harvested stands had lower species richness and were host to a significantly different suite of species than unharvested stands. The results from the investigation of stand age are of particular interest. Forest management that disregards the dependence of different suites of beetles on forest stands of various ages and compositions, emphasizing even-aged single-species stands, may be harmful to the species diversity of Nova Scotia's forest ecosystems.