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Different long-term and short-term responses of land snails to clear-cutting of boreal stream-side forests.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
Botaniska institutionen, Stockholms universitet.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
2009 (English)In: Biological Conservation, ISSN 0006-3207, E-ISSN 1873-2917, Vol. 142, 1580-1587 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Effects of clear-cutting on biodiversity have mainly been studied in the short-term, although knowledge of longer term effects are often more important for managers of forest biodiversity. We assessed relatively long-term effects of clear-cutting on litter dwelling land snails, a group with slow active dispersal and considered to be intolerant to microclimate changes. In a pair wise design we compared snail abundance, species density, and species composition between 13 old seminatural stream-side stands and 13 matched young stands developed 40–60 years after clear-cutting. Using a standardized semi-quantitative method, we identified all snail specimens in a 1.5 l subsample of a pooled litter sample collected from small patches within a 20 × 5 m plot in each stream-side stand. From the young stands a mean of 135 shells and 9.5 species was extracted which was significantly higher than the 58.1 shells and 6.9 species found in old forests. Only two of the 16 species encountered showed a stronger affinity to old than to young forests. In short-term studies of boreal stream-side forests land snail abundance is reduced by clear-cutting. Our results indicate that this decline is transient for most species and within a few decades replaced by an increase. We suggest that local survival in moist stream-side refugia makes the land snails able to benefit from the higher pH and more abundant non-conifer litter in young than in old boreal forests. Our results highlight the importance of longer term studies as a basis for management guidelines for biodiversity conservation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 142, 1580-1587 p.
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-23145DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2009.02.028OAI: diva2:220521
Available from: 2009-06-01 Created: 2009-06-01 Last updated: 2011-05-06Bibliographically approved

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Ström, LottaDynesius, Mats
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