We used pitfall traps to study the effects of fire and salvage logging on distribution of carabid beetles over a forest disturbance gradient ranging from salvaged (naturally burned and subsequently harvested) to unsalvaged (naturally burned and left standing). Significantly more carabids were caught in the salvaged forest and the overall catch decreased steadily through the edge and into the unsalvaged forest. We also noted a strong negative correlation between carabid abundance and percent vegetation cover. Beetle diversity as measured through rarefaction was significantly greater at the edge relative to both the unsalvaged and salvaged forest. This stand level study suggests that the amount of edge habitat created by salvage logging has significant implications for recovery of epigaeic beetle assemblages in burned forests by inflating the abundance of “open habitat” species in the initial communities. Carabid beetle responses to salvage logging can differ from responses to harvesting in unburned boreal forest suggesting that management of postfire forests requires special consideration.
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