Jogeir Stokland

Research Professor

(+47) 902 32 251
jogeir.stokland@nibio.no

Place
Ås H8

Visiting address
Høgskoleveien 8, 1433 Ås

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Abstract

The ericaceous shrub bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) is a keystone species of the Eurasian boreal forest. The most optimal light condition for this plant is partial shading. Shade from the forest canopy depends on the stand density, a forest attribute that can be manipulated by forest managers. Most previous studies of the relationship between bilberry abundance and forest density have not explored the potentially modifying impacts of factors like stand age, tree species composition, and the solar irradiation at the site, as determined by location and topography. Using data from the Norwegian National Forest Inventory, we developed a generalized linear model applicable to estimate local bilberry cover across a wide range of environmental conditions in Norway. The explanatory terms in the final model were stand density (basal area per ha), solar irradiation, stand age, percentages of deciduous, pine, and spruce trees, summer (June-August) mean temperature and precipitation sum, mean temperature in January, site index, and soil category, in addition to the two-way interactions between stand density and the following: solar irradiation, stand age, percentage of deciduous trees, and percentage of Norway spruce (Picea abies). The final model explained ca. 21% of the total variation in bilberry cover. We conclude that a stand density of c. 30 m2 ha−1 in general will create favourable conditions for bilberry. If the forest is younger than 80 years old, or dominated by Norway spruce or deciduous trees, the optimal stand density is reduced to around 20 m2 ha−1. In a forest dominated by Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris), basal areas up to 40 m2 ha−1 would be beneficial to bilberry abundance. Our results demonstrate the importance of considering interactions between stand density and other stand and site characteristics.

Abstract

Fossils document the existence of trees and wood-associated organisms from almost 400 million years ago, and today there are between 400,000 and 1 million wood-inhabiting species in the world. This is the first book to synthesise the natural history and conservation needs of wood-inhabiting organisms. Presenting a thorough introduction to biodiversity in decaying wood, the book studies the rich diversity of fungi, insects and vertebrates that depend upon dead wood. It describes the functional diversity of these organisms and their specific habitat requirements in terms of host trees, decay phases, tree dimensions, microhabitats and the surrounding environment. Recognising the threats posed by timber extraction and forest management, the authors also present management options for protecting and maintaining the diversity of these species in forests as well as in agricultural landscapes and urban parks.

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Abstract

The species composition of wood-inhabiting fungi (polypores and corticoids) was investigated on 1138 spruce logs and 992 pine logs in 90 managed and 34 natural or near-natural spruce and pine forests in SE Norway. Altogether, the study included 290 species of wood-inhabiting fungi. Comparisons of logs with similar properties (standardized tree species, decay class, dimension class) in natural and managed forests showed a significant reduction in species number per log in managed spruce forests, but not in managed pine forests. The species number per log in managed spruce forests was 10–55% lower than on logs from natural spruce forests. The reduction was strongest on logs of large dimensions. A comparison of 200–400 spruce logs from natural and managed forests showed a 25% reduction in species richness corresponding to a conservative loss of ca. 40 species on a regional scale. A closer inspection revealed that species confined to medium and very decayed spruce logs were disfavored in managed forests, whereas species on early decay classes and decay generalists were unaffected. Similarly, species preferring large spruce logs were disfavored in managed forests. Forest management had strongest impact on low-frequent species in the spruce forests (more than 50% reduction), whereas common species were modestly affected. Corticoid fungi were more adversely affected than polypore fungi. These results indicate that wood-decaying fungi in pine forests are more adapted to forest disturbances than spruce-associated species. Management measures securing a continuous supply of dead wood are more important in spruce forests than in pine forests.