The succession of soil Collembola communities in spruce forests of the High Tatra Mountains five years after a windthrow and clear–cut logging
Publication date: 15 February 2019
Source: Forest Ecology and Management, Volume 433
Author(s): Peter Čuchta, Dana Miklisová, Ľubomír Kováč
A study focusing on the succession of soil Collembola communities was carried out in the High Tatra Mountains (Slovakia), five years after a windthrow. Two separate areas were studied within the mountain range: a peripheral foothill area and an inland mountain valley. Each area contained three stands (sites) under different management treatments: an intact reference forest stand, a non-extracted windthrown forest stand and an extracted windthrown forest stand. The impact of windthrow and the ensuing forestry practices in both areas was still apparent after the disturbance period. The communities in the inland mountain valley were affected by windthrow more negatively in terms of abundance. However, species richness seemed to remain better preserved there than in the foothills and was unaffected by colonisation by species from the surrounding habitats. A temporary increase in species richness observed early after the disturbance disappeared, and the negative effect of clear-cutting and subsequent extraction of the fallen wood on the communities, affecting their abundance, decreased in severity over time. The impact of both logged and unlogged regimes on Collembola communities was obvious, especially in the valley. Moreover, we observed the clear response of some species to windthrow and forest practices. Several considerably abundant species, e.g. Folsomia penicula and Tetracanthella fjellbergi, were sensitive to deforestation by windthrow and clear cutting. Our study documented that Collembola can be used as an indicator mesofauna group in assessments of disturbance-induced changes in soil environments of mountain spruce forests.
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