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Specialisation and diversity of multiple trophic groups are promoted by different forest features

Penone, Caterina, Allan, Eric, Soliveres, Santiago, Felipe‐Lucia, María R, Gossner, Martin M, Seibold, Sebastian, Simons, Nadja K., Schall, Peter, van der Plas, Fons, Manning, Peter, Manzanedo, Rubén D., Boch, Steffen, Prati, Daniel, Ammer, Christian, Bauhus, Jürgen, Buscot, François, Ehbrecht, Martin, Goldmann, Kezia, Jung, Kirsten, Müller, Jörg, Müller, Jörg C., Pena, Rodica, Polle, Andrea, Renner, Swen C., Ruess, Liliane, Schönig, Ingo, Schrumpf, Marion, Solly, Emily F., Tschapka, Marco, Weisser, Wolfgang W., Wubet, Tesfaye, Fischer, Markus
Ecology letters 2019 v.22 no.1 pp. 170-180
Quercus, animals, bacteria, biodiversity, canopy, conifers, forest management, fungi, microhabitats, stand structure, temperate forests, trees
While forest management strongly influences biodiversity, it remains unclear how the structural and compositional changes caused by management affect different community dimensions (e.g. richness, specialisation, abundance or completeness) and how this differs between taxa. We assessed the effects of nine forest features (representing stand structure, heterogeneity and tree composition) on thirteen above‐ and belowground trophic groups of plants, animals, fungi and bacteria in 150 temperate forest plots differing in their management type. Canopy cover decreased light resources, which increased community specialisation but reduced overall diversity and abundance. Features increasing resource types and diversifying microhabitats (admixing of oaks and conifers) were important and mostly affected richness. Belowground groups responded differently to those aboveground and had weaker responses to most forest features. Our results show that we need to consider forest features rather than broad management types and highlight the importance of considering several groups and community dimensions to better inform conservation.