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1 February 2007 Postfire Succession of Saproxylic Arthropods, with Emphasis on Coleoptera, in the North Boreal Forest of Quebec
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Saproxylic succession in fire-killed black spruce [Picea mariana (Mill.) B.S.P.] coarse woody debris (CWD) in northern Quebec is estimated in this study using a 29-yr postfire chronosequence. Sampling was performed using both trunk-window traps and rearing from snag and log sections. A total of 37,312 arthropods (>220 taxa) were collected from both sampling methods. Two distinct colonization waves were identified. The onset of initial colonization occurs the year of the fire, whereas the second colonization phase begins only once debris falls to the ground. The initial colonization step is influenced by fire-associated species including subcortical predators, xylophages, and ascomycetes feeders. Abundance of most early colonizer species decline with time since fire with the disappearance of subcortical habitat. No noticeable species turnover occurred in snags thereafter. Lack of succession in snags is related to very low decomposition rates for postfire CWD because this substrate is unsuitable for species associated with highly decayed wood. Snag falling triggers fungal growth and concomitant saproxylic succession toward micro- and saprophagous species and increases accessibility for soil-dwelling organisms. Because the position of woody debris greatly influences overall physical properties of dead wood, the fall of burned CWD plays a major role in saproxylic community shift after fire.
Yan Boulanger and Luc Sirois "Postfire Succession of Saproxylic Arthropods, with Emphasis on Coleoptera, in the North Boreal Forest of Quebec," Environmental Entomology 36(1), (1 February 2007).
Received: 13 June 2006; Accepted: 1 November 2006; Published: 1 February 2007

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