Initial responses of rove and ground beetles (Coleoptera, Staphylinidae, Carabidae) to removal of logging residues following clearcut harvesting in the boreal forest of Quebec, Canada.
Timothy Work, Jan Klimaszewski, Évelyne Thiffault, Caroline Bourdon, David Paré, Yves Bousquet, Lisa Venier, Brian D. Titus.
Increased interest in biomass harvesting for bioenergetic applications has raised questions regarding the potential ecological consequences on forest biodiversity. Here we evaluate the initial changes in the abundance, species richness and community composition of rove (Staphylinidae) and ground beetles (Carabidae), immediately following 1) stem-only harvesting (SOH), in which logging debris (i.e., tree tops and branches) are retained on site, and 2) whole-tree harvesting (WTH), in which stems, tops and branches are removed in mature balsam fir stands in Quebec, Canada. Beetles were collected throughout the summer of 2011, one year following harvesting, using pitfall traps. Overall catch rates were greater in uncut forest (Control) than either stem-only or whole-tree harvested sites. Catch rates in WTH were greater than SOH sites. Uncut stands were characterized primarily by five species: Atheta capsularis, Atheta klagesi, Atheta strigosula, Tachinus fumipennis/frigidus complex (Staphylinidae) and to a lesser extent to Pterostichus punctatissimus(Carabidae). Increased catch rates in WTH sites, where post-harvest biomass was less, were attributable to increased catches of rove beetles Pseudopsis subulata, Quedius labradorensis and to a lesser extent Gabrius brevipennis. We were able to characterize differences in beetle assemblages between harvested and non-harvested plots as well as differences between whole tree (WTH) and stem only (SOH) harvested sites where logging residues had been removed or left following harvest. However, the overall assemblage response was largely a recapitulation of the responses of several abundant species.