Benthic meiofauna responses to five forest harvest methods

  • Authors: Brown, Arthur V.; Smith, Freese; Pope, Misty; Michael, Jerry L.
  • Publication Year: 2001
  • Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
  • Source: Hydrobiologia 464: 9–15


Benthic meiofauna were collected from the pools of minute (0 order) streams in the Ouachita National Forest, Arkansas during March 21-23, 1996 to see if benthic communities responded to forest harvest methods in a similar manner as plankton communities collected two years prior. The study streams and their watersheds (2-6 ha) were located in 14-2016 ha forest stands that were selected for comparability of stands. Five treatment stands were paired with adjacent undisturbed reference stands (10 total). Treatment stands were subjected to one of five harvest methods listed in order of decreasing severity of harvest disturbance to the stands: (1) clearcut; (2) pine seed-tree; (3) pine shelterwood; (4) pine-hardwood group selection; and (5) pine single-tree selection. The mean number of taxa per site was 14 with a range of 9-20 taxa including rotifers, copepods, nematodes, dipterans, ostracods and 'other' meiofauna. Densities of total meiofauna (mean = 2449 No. l -1 ) were significantly higher (p=0.002) in treated sites. Highest densities occurred in single-tree and clearcut treatments. Rotifers were significantly more numerous at the single-tree treatments (p=0.03) and nematodes were significantly greater at the clearcut treatments (p=0.03). We conclude that benthic meiofauna in these headwater streams are sensitive to silviculture practices and that the impact of forest harvest persists for at least 2.5 years.

  • Citation: Smith, Freese; Brown, Arthur V.; Pope, Misty; Michael, Jerry L. 2001. Benthic meiofauna responses to five forest harvest methods. Hydrobiologia 464: 9–15
  • Keywords: benthic meiofauna, forest, intermittent stream, silviculture, watershed, zooplankton
  • Posted Date: April 1, 1980
  • Modified Date: August 22, 2006
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