Polypore communities were compared between mature managed, overmature managed, and old-growth spruce-dominated forests in southern Finland. A total of 85 polypore species, with 6000 records, were found in 16 sample plots, each 4 ha in size. Old-growth stands had on average 80% more species than mature stands, and 38% more species than overmature managed stands. Variation in polypore species richness was best explained by diversity of dead wood and the number and volume of dead trees. The best predictor for the number of threatened polypore species was the number of cut stumps. Threatened species were practically confined to old-growth forests and to stands in which the amount of dead wood exceeded 20 m 3 /ha. This figure appears to represent a stand-level threshold value for the amount of dead wood, below which the persistence of threatened species becomes unlikely. Our results suggest that a significant increase in the amount of dead wood (e.g. by leaving large retention trees and even by killing trees) is needed in managed forests before they become suitable habitats for threatened polypores.
Biological Conservation – Elsevier
Published: May 1, 2004
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