Exploring potential biodiversity indicators in boreal forests
- Cite this article as:
- Jonsson, B.G. & Jonsell, M. Biodiversity and Conservation (1999) 8: 1417. doi:10.1023/A:1008900309571
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The present study evaluates indicators in Swedish spruce forests. We ask whether different species groups co-vary in their occurrence and to what extent species richness and composition is predictable from habitat structures. We studied 10 boreal spruce forest stands constituting a gradient in degree of selective logging. Occurrences of vascular plants, bryophytes, epiphytic lichens and wood-inhabiting fungi as well as habitat structures was inventoried. In addition, in five of the stands, beetles were sampled with windows traps. Total species richness was correlated with several habitat factors, mainly particular substrates and degree of forestry impact. However, the richness of a set of species regularly used as indicators did not correlate with habitat factors. Correlation in species richness among different organism groups were few and scale dependent. Only lichens and vascular plants formed nested subset patterns (i.e. species composition at poorer sites is subsets of the species present at richer sites) among the study sites. The study shows that in this forest type one cannot a priori assume that richness in one group of species correlated with richness in other, and measures of single habitat features may be relevant only to particular groups of species. Instead, monitoring and inventories should be based on a set of factors reflecting important aspects for different groups of organisms and if indicator species are to be used these should be chosen from several species groups.