Biodiversity & Conservation

, Volume 14, Issue 8, pp 1841–1862 | Cite as

Influence of forest development phase on centipede diversity in managed beech forests in Slovenia

  • Tanja Grgič
  • Ivan Kos


Biodiversity in managed forests depends on management practices that determine the forest structure. The influence of stand structure on centipede diversity was investigated by comparing centipede communities from different forest development phases. Using the quadrat counts method, soil samples were taken thrice during 2000 (in spring, summer and autumn) from a deforested area and three evenly aged beech stands (juvenile, pole and timber phases) in managed beech forests in Slovenia. The characteristics of centipede communities and the similarities among them were estimated. The collection comprised 1150 centipedes representing 32 species. At a single site, 10–24 species were found. The average density was between 22 and 808 individuals per m2. Differences among communities from different sites were found. The highest species number and abundance were found in the juvenile phase and the lowest in the deforested area. The occurrence of species differed among phases, but none of the species found with a high incidence in one development phase was restricted to that phase. The composition of the centipede community was more sensitive to the successional status of the forest than to the season. A comparison with differently structured forest was made, which suggests that homogenisation leads to reduced centipede diversity. To preserve biodiversity and healthy forest functioning, the maintenance of heterogeneity within a forest stand should be an important focus of management operations.


Biodiversity Chilopoda Ecology Forest development phases Forest management Soil fauna Stand structure 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biotechnical Faculty, Department of BiologyUniversity of LjubljanaLjubljanaSlovenia

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