Short-term response of ground-dwelling macroarthropods to shelterwood harvests in a productive Southern Appalachian upland hardwood forest

  • Authors: Westby-Gibson, Jr.; Greenberg, Cathryn H.; Moorman, Christopher E.; Forrest, T.G.; Keyser, Tara L.; Simon, Dean M.; Warburton, Gordon S.
  • Publication Year: 2017
  • Publication Series: Research Paper (RP)
  • Source: e-Res. Pap. RP-SRS-59. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Southern Research Station.

Abstract

 Macroarthropods rarely are considered in forest management decisions, despite their ecological importance as decomposers, herbivores, pollinators, predators, and nutrient cyclers, and potential of some taxa as indicators of forest condition. We used a replicated design to experimentally determine if, and how, community composition, richness, and biomass of terrestrial macroarthropods differed between recent shelterwood harvests and unharvested controls in an intermediate quality upland hardwood forest. Richness of orders or families did not differ between treatments. Abundance and dry biomass of total macroarthropods and most orders or families were unaffected by shelterwood harvests despite substantial post-harvest reductions in tree density, canopy cover, and leaf litter cover and depth, at least in the short term. Among taxa, abundance and dry biomass of Opiliones (all Phalangiidae) and Lepidoptera (mostly larvae) were greater in shelterwoods than controls, whereas abundance and dry biomass of Orthoptera (predominantly Rhaphidophoridae) were greater in controls. Our results suggest that use of ground-dwelling macroarthropod taxa asindicators of forest disturbance be tempered with consideration of other site related factors potentially affecting forest floor conditions and activity-abundance of macroarthropods, such as forest type, site quality, elevation, topographic position, and weather

  • Citation: Westby-Gibson, Jr., John; Greenberg, Cathryn H.; Moorman, Christopher E.; Forrest, T.G.; Keyser, Tara L.; Simon, Dean M.; and Warburton, Gordon S. 2017. Short-term response of ground-dwelling macroarthropods to shelterwood harvests in a productive Southern Appalachian upland hardwood forest. e-Res. Pap. RP-SRS-59. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 10 p.
  • Keywords: Ground-dwelling macroarthropods; shelterwood harvest; southern Appalachians; upland hardwood forest.
  • Posted Date: January 30, 2018
  • Modified Date: January 30, 2018
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