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Effects of selective logging on terrestrial small mammals and arthropods

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Seed productivity is maximized as trees mature, potentially increasing seed availability to consumers. Forestry practices based on the removal of single or small groups of mature trees may decrease seed productivity within harvested forest stands. We investigated the effects of selective logging by contrasting seed production and the diversity and abundance of small mammals and arthropods between hardwood forests with different logging histories in Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario. Eight "disturbed" stands (~30 years since logged) were contrasted against eight "protected" stands (~90 years since logged). Protected stands produced significantly higher densities of seeds and supported a more diverse group of small mammals. Increased family richness of terrestrial arthropods was also detected within the protected stands. Small-mammal food addition experiments had no detectable effect on the diversity and abundance of small mammals or arthropods. These results indicate that disturbed stands have lower levels of seed production with consequent effects on the diversity and abundance of small mammals and arthropods.

La productivité des graines atteint son maximum à mesure que les arbres atteignent la maturité, ce qui augmente potentiellement la disponibilité des graines aux consommateurs. Les pratiques forestières qui consistent à retirer les arbres matures isolés ou les petits groupes d'arbres matures peuvent réduire la productivité des graines dans les boisés exploités. Nous avons examiné les effets de la coupe sélective en comparant la production de graines et la diversité des petits mammifères et des arthropodes dans des forêts de bois durs ayant des histoires de coupe différentes au parc provincial Algonquin, Ontario. Huit boisés « perturbés » (~30 ans depuis la coupe) ont été comparés à huit boisés « protégés » (~90 ans depuis la coupe). Les boisés protégés produisent significativement plus de graines et contiennent une communauté plus diversifiée de petits mammifères, ainsi qu'une richesse en familles d'arthropodes plus importante. Des expériences d'addition de nourriture pour les petits mammifères sont restées sans effet sur l'abondance et la diversité des petits mammifères et des arthropodes. Ces résultats démontrent que les boisés perturbés ont une production moindre de graines et que les conséquences se reflètent sur la diversité et l'abondance des petits mammifères et des arthropodes.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2003

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  • Published since 1929, this monthly journal reports on primary research contributed by respected international scientists in the broad field of zoology, including behaviour, biochemistry and physiology, developmental biology, ecology, genetics, morphology and ultrastructure, parasitology and pathology, and systematics and evolution. It also invites experts to submit review articles on topics of current interest.
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