Canadian Forest Service Publications

Woody biomass removal in harvested boreal forest leads to a partial functional homogenization of soil mesofaunal communities relative to unharvested forest. 2019. Rousseau, L.; Venier, L.A.; Aubin, I.; Gendreau-Berthiaume, B.; Moretti, M.; Salmon, S.; Handa, I.T. Soil Biology and Biochemistry 133: 129-136.

Year: 2019

Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 39809

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.1016/j.soilbio.2019.02.021

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Plain Language Summary

Land-use intensification can lead to taxonomic and/or functional homogenization of biotic communities, with potential consequences for ecosystem functioning. In boreal forests, managers are increasingly considering intensifying woody biomass removal for bioenergy, but associated functional effects on soil fauna that use microhabitats associated with this biomass remain poorly understood. Two years after harvesting, we assessed the effects of an increasing intensity gradient of biomass removal in a northeastern Ontario jack pine stand on the functional structure of two abundant soil taxa. The gradient ranged from (1) uncut forest to (2) stem-only harvesting to intense biomass removal through (3) wholetree harvesting (stem, top and branches) with (4) stump removal and (5) additional removal of organic soil strata. To improve sustainable management of boreal forests, long-term studies will be needed to assess if partial functional homogenization of soil mesofauna by intensive practices persists through time and may influence soil ecosystem function.