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1 June 2008 Responses of Litter-Dwelling Arthropods to four Different Thinning Intensities in Douglas-Fir Forests of the Pacific Northwest, USA
Hoonbok Yi, Andrew Moldenke
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We investigated the response of litter-dwelling arthropods to the effects of four forestry thinning intensities (Control, Light Thin, Light Thin with Gap, and Heavy Thin). With the balance between timber demand and maintaining biodiversity in the forest ecosystem in mind, we examined the effects of thinning on the abundance, richness, and diversity of arthropods as an indicator of how ecological processes affect forest litter-dwelling fauna. Study sites were 40- to 60-year-old stands of typical Douglas-fir plantation in the Willamette National Forest, Oregon, USA. To examine the seasonal response of the litter-dwelling arthropods, litter debris and humus samples were collected in October 2000 (wet late-growing season, Late 2000), June 2001 (wet early-growing season, Early 2001), and August 2001 (dry mid-growing season, Mid 2001) and extracted with Tullgren funnels. The abundance and diversity of litter-dwelling arthropods decreased as thinning intensity increased. The decreases in both abundance and diversity of arthropods with limited mobility within the two heaviest thinnings were correlated with an increased heterogeneity of disturbance to the forest floor (patchy litter and moss cover removal), rather than responses to thinning itself at the scale of the entire stand. The litter-dwelling fauna correlated positively with litter moisture. Under control conditions, the abundance of predators and detritivores increased during the dry summer in August. Non-metric multidimensional scaling results showed distinct clusters for the three growing seasons. The wet early-growing season clustered with the dry mid-growing season, but not with the wet late-growing season. Moisture correlated highly with the ordination axes. This study showed that litter-dwelling arthropods were correlated with stand density and seasonal litter moisture of the forest floor.

© Finnish Zoological and Botanical Publishing Board 2008
Hoonbok Yi and Andrew Moldenke "Responses of Litter-Dwelling Arthropods to four Different Thinning Intensities in Douglas-Fir Forests of the Pacific Northwest, USA," Annales Zoologici Fennici 45(3), 229-240, (1 June 2008).
Received: 21 February 2007; Accepted: 1 March 2008; Published: 1 June 2008
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