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Gap felling as a forest harvesting method in boreal forests: responses of carabid beetles (Coleoptera, Carabidae)


  • Matti Koivula,

  • Jari Niemelä

M. Koivula ( and J. Niemelä, Dept of Ecology and Systematics, Div. of Population Biology, P. O. Box 65, FIN-00014, Univ. of Helsinki, Finland.


In order to study the ecological effects of logging combined with mechanical soil preparation, we sampled carabid beetles with pitfall trapping in nine spruce-dominated stands in central Finland in 1995–1998. Three of the stands were left intact as controls. Three 1600-m2 openings per stand were logged in the winter 1995–1996 into six stands. In three of these stands, light soil preparation was applied. Logging affected the species assemblages, but soil preparation per se had no clear effects. Open-habitat species increased in abundance in the openings one year after logging, but catches of generalist species in the different treatments did not differ from each other. A forest species, Calathus micropterus, was least abundant in the prepared openings. The amounts of logging residue, exposed mineral soil and aggregated humus, as well as the abundance of red wood ants, significantly explained variation in carabid assemblages.