, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp 175-185
Date: 13 Oct 2007

Line thinning enhances diversity of Coleoptera in overstocked Cryptomeria japonica plantations in central Japan

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We evaluated the effectiveness of line thinning, a new silvicultural technique, toward restoring diversity of Coleoptera in overstocked Cryptomeria japonica D. Don plantations in central Japan. We compared the abundance of some common Coleoptera families between line-thinned stands and adjacent unthinned stands in two plantations: low-elevation Sugi site (4 years since thinning) and high-elevation Kuchiotani site (6 years since thinning). Many bettle families comprising various functional groups such as plant feeders, wood borers, rotten wood feeders, root feeders, fungus feeders, dung feeders, and scavengers were more abundant in the line-thinned stands than in the unthinned stands. Furthermore, some important families were missing from the unthinned stands. There were strong positive relationships between Coleopteran abundance and understory vegetation. Our results suggest that line thinning may potentially increase biodiversity in overstocked C. japonica plantations by restoring important ecological processes such as food-web interactions (pollination, predation, herbivory, decomposition, parasitism, etc.), and habitat conditions.

Handling editor: Heikki Hokkanen