A1 Journal article (refereed)
Changes in soil fauna 10 years after forest harvestings : Comparison between clear felling and green-tree retention methods (2009)

Siira-Pietikäinen, A., & Haimi, J. (2009). Changes in soil fauna 10 years after forest harvestings : Comparison between clear felling and green-tree retention methods. Forest Ecology and Management, 258(3), 332-338. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2009.04.024

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Siira-Pietikäinen, Anne; Haimi, Jari

Journal or series: Forest Ecology and Management

ISSN: 0378-1127

eISSN: 1872-7042

Publication year: 2009

Volume: 258

Issue number: 3

Pages range: 332-338

Publication country: Netherlands

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2009.04.024

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:


We studied the responses of soil decomposer animals to clear felling and alternative, green-tree retention harvesting methods (GRT) in Norway spruce forests in Finland. The study plots which were sampled for immediate treatment effects (up to three years) were resampled after 10 years. We hypothesized that responses of decomposers still depends on the level of GTR. The treatments, in addition to untreated controls (100% retained), were: (1) selection felling (70% dispersed tree retention), (2) and (3) gap felling with and without site preparation, respectively (three small gaps were felled in a 1-ha area and 50% of the stand volume was retained), (4) retention felling (10% of the stand volume was retained in three small tree groups) and (5) traditional clear felling (0% retention). Ten years after the treatments the strong increase of enchytraeids immediately after the harvestings was leveled out and the numbers on all treated plots were at the control level. Total numbers or community structure of soil dwelling collembolans were not affected either. The abundance of macroarthropods on the harvested plots, except selection felling, was ca. 50% lower compared to the control forest. Their community structure was also changed due to the harvestings. The most sensitive animal groups were herbivores, microbivores and some detritivores. After 10 years, predators (mainly spiders and certain coleopterans) were decreased only under retention tree groups, while microbidetritivores (dipteran and coleopteran larvae) were unaffected. Our study showed that dispersed tree retention, at least when only 30% of the stand volume was harvested, induced no significant changes in soil decomposer animal community in boreal coniferous forest. On the other hand, decomposer community in clear-felled areas (either large or small) and in small aggregated retention tree groups is still different from that in unfelled forest 10 years after the harvestings. Mesofauna living in the soil organic layer (humus) seem to be better buffered against environmental changes induced by the harvesting compared to animals dwelling close to or on the soil surface. These animals are affected long after harvestings.

Keywords: coniferous forests; forest management; clearcuttings; soil; fauna; Enchytraeidae; springtails

Free keywords: Clear felling; Collembola; Coniferous forest soil; Forestry practices; Green-tree retention; Macrofauna; Soil animals

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Last updated on 2021-17-09 at 18:31