Short-term responses of ground-active beetles to alternative silvicultural systems in the Warra silvicultural systems trial, Tasmania, Australia

Publication Type:Journal Article
Authors:S. C. Baker, Grove, S. J., Forster, L., Bonham, K. J., Bashford, D.
Journal:Forest Ecology and Management
Date Published:July 30

The Warra Silvicultural Systems Trial (SST) in Tasmania, Australia provides a framework for investigating the responses of beetles (Order: Coleoptera) to three alternative systems in lowland wet eucalypt forest: aggregated retention; dispersed retention; and understorey islands retained in clearfelled areas. Beetles from three families known to be sensitive to forest management, the families Carabidae (ground-beetles), Curculionidae (weevils) and Leiodidae (fungus-beetles), were collected with pitfall traps prior to harvest, and in the first and third years post-harvest. The retained aggregates in the aggregated retention system maintained beetle assemblages reasonably typical of mature forests, at least in these early years following harvesting. These aggregates appear to provide a stable habitat, with similar species composition in the first and third years post-harvest. In contrast, the harvested areas of the aggregated retention system contained low numbers of beetle species affiliated with mature forest, as did the understorey islands and the dispersed retention system. Relative to clearfelling, all alternative silvicultural systems appeared to be of some benefit to beetles affiliated with mature forest, but aggregated retention retained far greater numbers of these beetles compared to the other systems in Tasmanian wet eucalypt forest.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith