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Collembola in low stumps at clear-cuts. Is stump harvesting a threat?

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Stump harvesting as a way to increase wood biomass production in order to meet the European Union targets for reduced CO2 emissions is starting up in Sweden. The knowledge about if and how Collembola species can use low stumps as a substrate is very limited. Stumps of three different ages (4, 14 and 75 years) were sampled to see if Collembola used the dead wood during the whole rotation period of a forest. Stumps of spruce, pine and birch were compared. Both the bark and the splint wood of the stumps were sampled. To determine whether the stump also influenced the nearby soil, the soil close to the stump were sampled as well as the soil further away. In total, five Collembola species that are known to prefer dead wood as a substrate were found in the stumps. Wood specialists were more dominating in young stumps, but occurred also in the oldest stumps. No preference was found for any specific tree species. Wood-living Collembola seem to be able to survive in low stumps for a whole rotation period, at least in low numbers. There is, however, a risk for extinction debt due to their low capacity for active long-distance dispersal.

Keywords: Biofuel; Collembola; dead wood; low stumps; soil fauna; stump harvesting; tree species

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Ecology,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden

Publication date: 2012-12-01

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