Canadian Forest Service Publications

Saproxylic beetles (Coleoptera) using Populus in boreal aspen stands of western Canada: spatiotemporal variation and conservation of assemblages. 2004. Hammond, H.E.J.; Langor, D.W.; Spence, J.R. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 34(1): 1-19.

Year: 2004

Issued by: Northern Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 24172

Language: English

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Saproxylic beetles associated with Populus coarse woody material were sampled from two age classes of fire-origin aspen stands in north-central Alberta, Canada. A combination of rearings from wood bolts and window traps attached to snags yielded 9571 beetles representing 257 taxa over the 3-year period (1993–1995). We investigated faunal variation across regions, stand ages (mature, 60–90 years; old, >100 years), decay classes, wood types, and years in terms of species richness, abundance, and trophic differences. Although trophic structure was similar, faunal composition differed between the two study regions. Species richness and abundance were similar across stand ages; however, many species were collected exclusively or in great majority from old stands and from snags of large diameter, which suggested that truncation of stand age structure through widespread industrial harvest could have serious consequences for saproxylic assemblages. Beetle species richness increased with the level of wood decay, whereas the total catch of beetles tended to be higher in early stages of decay. Wood borer abundance tended to be higher in snags; however, total species richness was higher in logs. Our analyses suggest that (i) many beetle species in the Canadian boreal forest depend directly upon standing and fallen large-diameter woody material from Populus trees, (ii) variation in stage of decay is critical to beetle diversity, and (iii) provision for retention of representative old stands is critical to conservation of saproxylic communities.