Species richness and composition of Curculionidae (Coleoptera) in a conifer plantation, secondary forest, and old-growth forest in the central mountainous region of Japan
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- Ohsawa, M. Ecol Res (2005) 20: 632. doi:10.1007/s11284-005-0080-7
Weevil (Curculionidae, Coleoptera) species richness and composition were investigated and compared among larch [Larix kaempferi (Lamb.) Carriére] plantations, secondary forests, and old-growth forests in the central mountainous region of Japan. In addition, to assess the effects of forest-management practices, namely thinning and long-rotation logging schedules (long rotation), the weevil assemblages of recently thinned middle-aged and long-rotated larch plantations were compared with those of middle-aged larch plantations. Malaise traps were set in 44 stands of these forest types, and weevils were separated and identified. Several environmental factors other than forest type were also examined. Weevil species richness and diversity indices [Shannon-Wiener diversity index (H′) and Simpson’s index of diversity (D)] were higher in the secondary forest than in the larch plantation. Because of its wide distribution and higher weevil species richness, the secondary forest contributed to maintaining weevil diversity in this region. Old-growth forest had higher diversity indices (H′ and D) than did the larch plantation. The secondary forest had the highest number of species in total. Though the number of individuals was the highest in larch plantation, species richness, H′ and D of the plantation were generally low. Weevil community structure and species composition differed among the three forest types, but the difference in weevil composition between the larch plantation and the other two forest types was the largest. Forest type is probably the most important factor for determining the differences in weevil assemblage, and further, both dominant tree type (coniferous trees versus broad-leaved trees) and the number of mature tree species seem to be important factors for weevil species composition. Among forest management practices, long rotation caused diversity indices (H′ and D) to increase while thinning appeared to cause only minor changes in the weevil assemblages. Because species richness and species composition of Curculionidae well reflected the differences in forest types and some other environmental factors investigated, this family seems suitable for diversity research in forests. Further research on biodiversity with the use of this family should, therefore, be expected.