Canadian Forest Service Publications

Stand composition and structure of the boreal mixedwood and epigaeic arthropods of the Ecosystem Management Emulating Natural Disturbance (EMEND) landbase in northwestern Alberta. 2004. Work, T.T.; Shorthouse, D.P.; Spence, J.R.; Volney, W.J.A.; Langor, D.W. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 34(2): 417-430.

Year: 2004

Available from: Northern Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 24301

Language: English

CFS Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Abstract

Conservation of biological diversity under the natural disturbance model of boreal forest management relies on the assumption that natural mosaics of stand composition and structure can be adequately recreated through forest management activities. Maintaining compositional and structural features that provide adequate habitat for species within managed stands is the basis of coarse-filter conservation strategies. Here we test the effect of stand composition and stand structure on the epigaeic arthropod fauna from four boreal mixedwood cover types in western Canada. We observed differences in epigaeic community composition and species-specific associations among each of the four cover types. Differences in the carabid fauna between cover types were defined by relative abundance of carabid species associated specifically with moss cover, forb cover, and of coarse woody material, rather than unique, stand-specific species compositions of the overstory. Cover-type differences were less apparent among the comparatively species-rich spider assemblages largely because of their low abundance in undisturbed stands. For the effective conservation of all species, our results suggest that coarse-filter management of mixedwood boreal forests must incorporate structural features beyond overstory canopy composition. Our analyses also suggest that activities directed at managing the amount of coarse woody material on the ground and understory plant composition, perhaps through variable retention harvesting, is a logical first step.