Biodiversity & Conservation

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 75–100 | Cite as

What factors influence the diversity of saproxylic beetles? A multiscaled study from a spruce forest in southern Norway

  • Bjørn Økland
  • Alf Bakke
  • Sigmund Hågvar
  • Torstein Kvamme

The diversity in different groups of obligate saproxylic beetles was related to ecological variables at three levels of spatial scale in mature spruce-dominated forest. The variables were connected to: (i) decaying wood, (ii) wood-inhabiting fungi, (iii) the level of disturbance, (iv) landscape ecology, and (v) vegetational structure. Several strong relationships were found at medium (1 km2) and large scales (4 km2), while only weak relationships were found at a small scale (0.16 ha; 1 ha=104 m2). This may be explained by the local variations in habitat parameters and the high mobilities of many beetle species. Factors connected to decaying wood and wood-inhabiting fungi were clearly the most important factors at all scale levels. In particular, the variables diversity of dead tree parts, number of dead trees of large diameter and number of polypore fungi species increased the species richness of many groups and increased the abundance of many species. Eight species were absent below a certain density of decaying wood per 1 or 4 km2. Former extensive cutting was a negative factor at large scale, probably because of decreasing recolonization with increasing distance to the source habitats. Thinning reduced the diversity of species associated with birch. The development of guidelines favouring the diversity of saproxylic beetles are discussed below.


saproxylic Coleoptera spruce forest spatial scale conservation 


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Copyright information

© Chapman & Hall 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bjørn Økland
    • 1
  • Alf Bakke
    • 1
  • Sigmund Hågvar
    • 1
  • Torstein Kvamme
    • 1
  1. 1.Norwegian Forest Research InstituteÅsNorway

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