Spatial and temporal patterns of beetles associated with coarse woody debris in managed bottomland hardwood forests
Malaise traps were used to sample beetles in artificial canopy gaps of different size (0.13 ha, 0.26 ha, and 0.50 ha) and age in a South Carolina bottomland hardwood forest. Traps were placed at the center, edge, and in the surrounding forest of each gap. Young gaps (~1 year) had large amounts of coarse woody debris compared to the surrounding forest, while older gaps (-6 years) had virtually none. The total abundance and diversity of wood-dwelling beetles (Buprestidae, Cerambycidae, Brentidae, Bostrichidae, and Curculionidae (Scolytinae and Platypodinae)) was higher in the center of young gaps than in the center of old gaps. The abundance was higher in the center of young gaps than in the surrounding forest, while the forest surrounding old gaps and the edge of old gaps had a higher abundance and diversity of wood-dwelling beetles than did the center of old gaps. There was no difference in wood-dwelling beetle abundance between gaps of different size, but diversity was lower in 0.13 ha old gaps than in 0.26 ha or 0.50 ha old gaps. We suspect that gap size has more of an effect on woodborer abundance than indicated here because malaise traps sample a limited area. The predaceous beetle family Cleridae showed a very similar trend to that of the woodborers. Coarse woody debris is an important resource for many organisms, and our results lend further support to forest management practices that preserve coarse woody debris created during timber removal.
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