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Tree Species Composition and Harvest Intensity Affect Herbivore Density and Leaf Damage on Beech, Fagus sylvatica, in Different Landscape Contexts.

Mangels, Jule and Blüthgen, Nico and Frank, Kevin and Grassein, Fabrice and Hilpert, Andrea and Mody, Karsten (2015):
Tree Species Composition and Harvest Intensity Affect Herbivore Density and Leaf Damage on Beech, Fagus sylvatica, in Different Landscape Contexts.
In: PloS one, pp. e0126140, 10, (5), ISSN 1932-6203, [Article]

Abstract

Most forests are exposed to anthropogenic management activities that affect tree species composition and natural ecosystem processes. Changes in ecosystem processes such as herbivory depend on management intensity, and on regional environmental conditions and species pools. Whereas influences of specific forest management measures have already been addressed for different herbivore taxa on a local scale, studies considering effects of different aspects of forest management across different regions are rare. We assessed the influence of tree species composition and intensity of harvesting activities on arthropod herbivores and herbivore-related damage to beech trees, Fagus sylvatica, in 48 forest plots in three regions of Germany. We found that herbivore abundance and damage to beech trees differed between regions and that - despite the regional differences - density of tree-associated arthropod taxa and herbivore damage were consistently affected by tree species composition and harvest intensity. Specifically, overall herbivore damage to beech trees increased with increasing dominance of beech trees - suggesting the action of associational resistance processes - and decreased with harvest intensity. The density of leaf chewers and mines was positively related to leaf damage, and several arthropod groups responded to beech dominance and harvest intensity. The distribution of damage patterns was consistent with a vertical shift of herbivores to higher crown layers during the season and with higher beech dominance. By linking quantitative data on arthropod herbivore abundance and herbivory with tree species composition and harvesting activity in a wide variety of beech forests, our study helps to better understand the influence of forest management on interactions between a naturally dominant deciduous forest tree and arthropod herbivores.

Item Type: Article
Erschienen: 2015
Creators: Mangels, Jule and Blüthgen, Nico and Frank, Kevin and Grassein, Fabrice and Hilpert, Andrea and Mody, Karsten
Title: Tree Species Composition and Harvest Intensity Affect Herbivore Density and Leaf Damage on Beech, Fagus sylvatica, in Different Landscape Contexts.
Language: English
Abstract:

Most forests are exposed to anthropogenic management activities that affect tree species composition and natural ecosystem processes. Changes in ecosystem processes such as herbivory depend on management intensity, and on regional environmental conditions and species pools. Whereas influences of specific forest management measures have already been addressed for different herbivore taxa on a local scale, studies considering effects of different aspects of forest management across different regions are rare. We assessed the influence of tree species composition and intensity of harvesting activities on arthropod herbivores and herbivore-related damage to beech trees, Fagus sylvatica, in 48 forest plots in three regions of Germany. We found that herbivore abundance and damage to beech trees differed between regions and that - despite the regional differences - density of tree-associated arthropod taxa and herbivore damage were consistently affected by tree species composition and harvest intensity. Specifically, overall herbivore damage to beech trees increased with increasing dominance of beech trees - suggesting the action of associational resistance processes - and decreased with harvest intensity. The density of leaf chewers and mines was positively related to leaf damage, and several arthropod groups responded to beech dominance and harvest intensity. The distribution of damage patterns was consistent with a vertical shift of herbivores to higher crown layers during the season and with higher beech dominance. By linking quantitative data on arthropod herbivore abundance and herbivory with tree species composition and harvesting activity in a wide variety of beech forests, our study helps to better understand the influence of forest management on interactions between a naturally dominant deciduous forest tree and arthropod herbivores.

Journal or Publication Title: PloS one
Volume: 10
Number: 5
Divisions: 10 Department of Biology
10 Department of Biology > Synthetic Ecological Networks
Date Deposited: 11 May 2015 12:11
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