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Effects of even-aged and uneven-aged timber management on dung beetle community attributes in a Missouri Ozark forest

Masís, Alejandro, Marquis, Robert J.
Forest ecology and management 2009 v.257 no.2 pp. 536-545
timber management, community structure, dung beetles, forest canopy, temperate forests, even-aged management, geographical variation, Scarabaeidae, species diversity, stand management, uneven-aged management, forest thinning, canopy gaps, insect communities, Ozarks, Missouri
The goal of this study was to estimate the effects of even-aged, uneven-aged and no-harvest forest management on dung beetle community attributes at both landscape and local (either closed or open canopy within treatments) scales. We collected a total 2579 individuals of Scarabaeoidea with 72 baited pitfall traps in the Missouri Ozark Forest Ecosystem Project throughout the summer of 2003. Six species accounted for 81% of all individuals collected, with community composition changing over the summer. At the landscape scale, the effects of treatments on overall abundance and abundance of individual species varied geographically, with forest thinning reducing abundance compared to clear-cutting forest stands and no harvest but in only one of the three blocks. The effects were also dung beetle species-specific, as there were unique responses of abundances of individual beetle species to the treatments. Five species (Ateuchus histeroides, Deltochilum gibbosum, Onthophagus pennsylvanicus, O. taurus, and O. tuberculifrons) were affected by forest thinning. In contrast, at the local scale, canopy opening (through timber harvesting and natural tree falls) increased expected (rarefied) species richness. Ordination showed that community composition was uniquely different among the six harvest treatments by canopy openness combinations. Together these results demonstrate that timber extraction from a temperate forest ecosystem influenced community composition of dung beetles at the landscape level, but this impact varied with cutting treatment, geographically, and by dung beetle species.