Canadian Forest Service Publications

Biodiversity and multiple disturbances: boreal forest ground beetle (Coleoptera: Carabidae) responses to wildfire, harvesting, and herbicide. 2007. Cobb, T.P.; Langor, D.W.; Spence, J.R. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 37(8): 1310-1323.

Year: 2007

Issued by: Northern Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 27439

Language: English

Availability: Order paper copy (free), PDF (request by e-mail)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.1139/X06-310

† This site may require a fee

Mark record


Rising societal demands for forest resources along with existing natural disturbance regimes suggest that sustainable forest management will increasingly depend on better understanding the cumulative effects of natural and anthropogenic disturbances. In North America, for example, there is increasing economic pressure to salvage log burned forests, although the ecological consequences of combining fire and harvesting on the same sites are unclear. We examined the short-term (2 year) responses of boreal forest ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) to the individual and combined effects of wildfire, harvesting, and herbicide. Ground beetle responses to wildfire and forestry-related disturbances differed strongly and suggested that, although some species may appear to benefit from disturbance combinations (e.g., Sericoda quadripunctata (DeGeer)), these effects are detrimental to others (e.g., Sericoda bembidioides Kirby). Species compositional variability was significantly reduced by disturbance combinations suggesting that multiple disturbances may lead to a simplification of this entire assemblage. In addition, ground beetle responses were correlated with changes in several key habitat parameters such as amount of woody debris, exposed ground, and plant species richness suggesting avenues for future study. Overall, however, our results suggest that efforts to avoid compounding disturbances on any site should be considered when developing current and future forest management guidelines