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The importance of large-tree retention for the persistence of old-growth epiphytic bryophyte Neckera pennata in selection harvest systems
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Natural Sciences. (Biologi)
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Natural Sciences.
Université de Moncton, Canada.
2016 (English)In: Forest Ecology and Management, ISSN 0378-1127, E-ISSN 1872-7042, Vol. 372, 143-148 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Partial harvesting methods are generally more similar to the natural dynamics of broad-leaved forests than clear cutting. However, their effects on biodiversity are still poorly understood. We investigated the effects of selection cutting on the occurrence of a large epiphytic bryophyte, Neckera pennata, in a northern hardwood forest of New Brunswick, Canada. Twenty-eight forest stands were selected, repre- senting two contrasting forest management practices: 5–9 years old, first-entry selection cuts and untreated stands that had been subjected to low-intensity single-tree cutting at least 35 years earlier. Within each stand, we quantified the presence–absence of N. pennata on 36 trees and measured selected forest stand variables. Although N. pennata had persisted in post-harvest stands, its frequency of occur- rence on maple trees was only 7% there, compared to 39% in untreated stands. The density of large- diameter sugar maple trees and crown cover were the most important factors predicting the frequency of N. pennata at the stand level. Tree diameter was also a strong predictor of N. pennata’s presence at the tree level and the occupancy of large-diameter maples was almost twice as high in untreated stands as in selection cuts. However, the occupancy of large-diameter maples relative to smaller maple trees was much higher in selection cuts, possibly due to dispersal limitations resulting from reduced connectivity of large-diameter host trees. Taken together, our findings suggest that (1) large trees from older seral stages are a prerequisite for the long-term persistence of N. pennata in managed forests and that (2) they are therefore particularly important for managers to retain in selection cuts. Further, since our results indi- cate that reduced crown cover in selection cuts has a negative effect on N. pennata, the benefit of retaining large host trees would probably increase if buffered within retention patches of maturing trees. Finally, since host tree diameter clearly is a very important factor for the presence of N. pennata, any extension of the harvest rotation would be beneficial.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2016. Vol. 372, 143-148 p.
Keyword [en]
Acer saccharum;Canada; Forest management; Selection cutting; bryophytes
National Category
Natural Sciences Ecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-27794DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2016.04.013ISI: 000376802600016Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84962848879OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-27794DiVA: diva2:933126
Available from: 2016-06-03 Created: 2016-06-03 Last updated: 2016-07-21Bibliographically approved

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Edman, MattiasEriksson, Anna-Maria
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