Canadian Forest Service Publications

Maintaining saproxylic insects in Canada's extensively managed boreal forests: a review. 2006. Langor, D.W.; Spence, J.R.; Hammond, H.E.J.; Jacobs, J.; Cobb, T.P. Pages 83-97 in S.J. Grove and J.L. Hanula, editors. Insect biodiversity and dead wood: Proceedings of a Symposium for the 22nd International Congress of Entomology, August 15-21, 2004, Brisbane, Australia. USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station, Asheville, North Carolina, USA, General Technical Report SRS-93.

Year: 2006

Issued by: Northern Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 26513

Language: English

Series: USDA General Technical Report

Availability: PDF (download)

Mark record


Recent work on saproxylic insect assemblages in western Canadian boreal forests has demonstrated high faunal diversity and variability, and that adequate assessment of these insects involves significant sampling and taxonomic challenges. Some major determinants of assemblage structure include tree species, degree of decay, stand age and cause of tree death. Experiments have revealed differential impacts of wildfire and harvesting on saproxylic insect assemblages in post-disturbance boreal stands. Exploration of saproxylic insect responses to variable retention harvesting and experimental burns is contributing to development of optimal management prescriptions for boreal forests. Understanding of processes determining saproxylic insect diversity patterns and responses would benefit from increased attention to natural history. Such work would lead to a biologically meaningful classification system for dead wood and better identify habitats (and associated species) at risk due to forest management. This tool could also be used to improve strategies to better maintain saproxylic organisms and their central nutrient cycling functions in managed boreal forests.