Resilience of bryophyte communities to clear-cutting of boreal stream-side forests
2007 (English)In: Biological Conservation, Vol. 135, no 3, 423-434 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
We asked if short-term changes in bryophyte communities in response to clear-cutting of boreal stream-side forests are persistent and whether species with low resilience may survive in narrow riparian buffer strips. To assess short-term changes and the function of buffer strips we compared the bryophyte community in permanent 0.1 ha plots of mature forest before and after clear-cutting. Persistent changes were inferred by pair-wise comparisons of 0.1 ha plots of mature forests with carefully matched 0.1 ha plots in stands established after clear-cutting 30–50 years earlier. Total bryophyte species richness did not respond significantly to clear-cutting. However, richness changed in many subgroups defined by phylogenetic, habitat or substrate affinity. Numbers of both liverwort and forest species were significantly reduced on clear-cuts and these differences remained significant, although smaller, 30–50 years after clear-cutting. In contrast, there were short-term increases in richness of mosses and of species growing on disturbed mineral soil, but these species numbers returned to mature-forest levels in the young stands. Number of species associated with convex substrates, especially woody debris species, was strongly reduced by clear-cutting and showed no significant recovery after 30–50 years. Hence, most of the negative effects of clear-cutting on bryophyte species persist almost halfway into the next forestry rotation period. However, narrow buffer strips (10 m on each side) prevented most of the short-term extirpations of species with low resilience on clear-cuts. Buffer strips may thus be effective in conserving the bryophyte flora of stream-side forests, but their long-term function as refugia and their contribution to population recovery in other parts of the landscape need further evaluation.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 135, no 3, 423-434 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-11887DOI: doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2006.10.010OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-11887DiVA: diva2:151558