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Ecological restoration of natural disturbances in boreal forests

Hägglund, Ruaridh (2016). Ecological restoration of natural disturbances in boreal forests. Diss. (sammanfattning/summary) Umeå : Sveriges lantbruksuniv., Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae, 1652-6880 ; 2016:88
ISBN 978-91-576-8678-7
eISBN 978-915768679-4
[Doctoral thesis]

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Worldwide declines in biodiversity have accentuated the need for conservation actions. Unfortunately, the decline is unlikely to be reversed by traditional conservation alone. Instead the practice of ecological restoration has come to play an ever increasing role. It is therefore important to develop methods that are beneficial for biodiversity, cost efficient and applicable on larger scales. By using a before-after control-impact experiment in boreal forest voluntary set-asides, I evaluated the response of forest-dwelling beetles and flat bugs to two cost neutral ecological restoration methods. The two restoration treatments, restoration burning and artificial gap creation were aimed at emulating natural disturbance processes, at the same time as they were expected to improve conditions for biodiversity. I compared the results from the two treatments with that of unmanaged reference stands.

I found that beetles showed strongest response to restoration burning by increasing in abundance and species richness directly, as well as one year after restoration. In addition the composition of species communities differed significantly between beetles collected in burned stands compared to those collected in gap-cut and reference stands immediately after restoration. One year after restoration the composition of species communities differed significantly between all three treatment groups. Flat bugs also responded strongest to restoration burning by displaying higher abundance and species richness in burned stands compared to gap-cut- and reference stands. I also found that dead wood substrate type mattered for beetles. Tree species and tree posture, i.e. if the trees were standing up or lying down, had the strongest effect on the composition of species communities emerging from the dead wood. In addition, tree species was of importance for abundance and species richness in gap-cut stands, where spruce trees generally had higher counts that birch- and pine trees.

As the voluntary set-asides already were established and the restoration costs were fully covered by revenues from the extracted timber, the restoration methods applied in this study may prove particularly useful. Not only because of the positive effects on forest biodiversity, but also due to their high level of applicability and cost effectiveness

Authors/Creators:Hägglund, Ruaridh
Title:Ecological restoration of natural disturbances in boreal forests
Series Name/Journal:Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
Year of publishing :2016
Depositing date:8 September 2016
Number of Pages:52
IHjältén, J. Hägglund, R. Johansson, T., Roberge, J.-M., Dynesius, M. & Olsson, J. Forest restoration by burning and gap cutting of voluntary set-asides yield distinct immediate effects on saproxylic beetles. (in review).
IIHägglund, R., Dynesius, M., Johansson, T., Olsson, J., Roberge, J.-M. & Hjältén, J. Restoration measures emulating natural disturbances can have positive effects on saproxylic beetle assemblages. (manuscript).
IIIHägglund, R. & Hjältén, J. Substrate specific restoration promotes saproxylic diversity in boreal forest set-asides. (manuscript).
IVHägglund, R., Hekkala, A.M., Hjältén, J. & Tolvanen, A. (2015). Positive effects of ecological restoration on rare and threatened flat bugs (Heteroptera: Aradidae). Journal of Insect Conservation 19(6), 1089-1099.
Place of Publication:Umeå
Publisher:Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Environmental Studies, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
ISBN for printed version:978-91-576-8678-7
ISBN for electronic version:978-915768679-4
Publication Type:Doctoral thesis
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:K Forestry > K01 Forestry - General aspects
P Natural resources > P01 Nature conservation and land resources
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Forest Science
Agrovoc terms:boreal forests, forest management, selective felling, forest fires, biodiversity, coleoptera, heteroptera, deadwood, nature conservation, sweden, finland
Keywords:Ecological restoration, Natural disturbances, Biodiversity, Restoration burning, Artificial gap creation, Dead wood, Saproxylic beetles, Flat bugs
Permanent URL:
ID Code:13643
Faculty:S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(S) > Dept. of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies
Deposited By: Ruaridh Hägglund
Deposited On:09 Sep 2016 08:15
Metadata Last Modified:10 Sep 2020 13:41

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