Journal of Insect Conservation

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 7–14 | Cite as

Vertical distribution of saproxylic beetles within snag trunks retained in plantation forests

  • Kensuke Onodera
  • Sawako Tokuda
  • Yukihiko Hirano
  • Shuhei Yamamoto


Retention of snags (standing dead trees) is considered to have important effects on saproxylic species conservation in plantation forests because snags would provide vertically stratified deadwood habitats. However, the vertical distribution of saproxylic insects within snag trunks is still unclear. We felled 33 naturally occurring snags of Todo fir Abies sachalinensis in plantation forests and extracted insects from 99 logs sampled from three vertical positions of the snag trunks (basal stem: <2.5 m, lower trunk: 2.5–5 m and upper trunk: >5 m). The mean number of species that emerged from a single log was only 2.69, but we identified 51 morphospecies of saproxylic beetles in total. The total number of species that emerged from the basal stem (34 spp.) was greater than those that emerged from the lower trunk (25 spp.) or the upper trunk (30 spp.). However, rarefaction-extrapolation analysis did not demonstrate a significant difference in species richness among the log positions. Beetle assemblages were separated into two groups by constrained correspondence analysis; one group emerged only from lower and upper trunk logs, while another emerged mainly from basal stem logs. Additionally, vertical position had a significant effect on the distribution of the five main species. Our results show that beetle assemblages within snags in the plantation forests were highly variable, and retaining a sufficient number of high stumps may be important for saproxylic beetle conservation in plantation forests. We propose ‘retention thinning’ as an appropriate method to combine efficient timber production with biodiversity conservation in plantation forests.


Deadwood Plantation forest Saproxylic beetle Retention thinning Vertical distribution Abies sachalinensis 



We would like to thank: N. Ishihama, K. Morimoto Y. Shibata, S. Shiyake for identifying beetles; The Hokkaido Government Prefectural Forest Management Division and Sorachi Subprefectural Bureau Offices of Forestry Management for providing log samples; A. Yamagami for guiding in the extraction of beetles from logs; N. Akashi, H. Hara, K. Minamino, K. Nakata, T. Tsushima and A. Unno for their valuable advice and assistance with field data collection. This work was supported by a management expenses grant from the Hokkaido Government.

Supplementary material

10841_2016_9947_MOESM1_ESM.docx (23 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 23 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Forestry Research InstituteHokkaido Research OrganizationBibaiJapan
  2. 2.Kanagawa Insect ColloquiumOdawaraJapan
  3. 3.JSPS Research Fellow, Entomological Laboratory, Graduate School of Bioresource and Bioenvironmental SciencesKyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan

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