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Drivers of the composition and diversity of carabid functional traits in UK coniferous plantations

Drivers of the composition and diversity of carabid functional traits in UK coniferous plantations
Drivers of the composition and diversity of carabid functional traits in UK coniferous plantations
Functional diversity (FD) is increasingly used as a metric to evaluate the impact of forest management strategies on ecosystem functioning. Management interventions that aim to maximise FD require knowledge of multiple environmental drivers of FD, which have not been studied to date in temperate coniferous production forests. We quantified the relative importance of abiotic (forest management) and biotic (ground vegetation community) drivers of carabid FD and trait distribution in 44 coniferous plantation forest stands across the UK. Carabid FD declined with canopy cover and carabid body length correlated negatively with the percentage of open semi-natural area surrounding a plot. We conclude that forest management could enhance carabid FD through initiatives that emulate natural disturbance regimes through gap creation. We found that neither functional nor taxonomic metrics of vegetation diversity correlated with carabid FD, suggesting that restoration of plant communities, a major goal of forest restoration efforts, will not necessarily enhance carabid FD in coniferous plantations.
carabids, functional diversity, functional traits, plants, plantation forest, trait-based approach
0378-1127
300-308
Spake, Rebecca
1cda8ad0-2ab2-45d9-a844-ec3d8be2786a
Barsoum, Nadia
6e6134fa-4cff-4b76-8988-ef2a73985b44
Newton, Adrian C.
33e105a6-2f1d-40e6-a7b2-05fd84a99137
Doncaster, C. Patrick
0eff2f42-fa0a-4e35-b6ac-475ad3482047
Spake, Rebecca
1cda8ad0-2ab2-45d9-a844-ec3d8be2786a
Barsoum, Nadia
6e6134fa-4cff-4b76-8988-ef2a73985b44
Newton, Adrian C.
33e105a6-2f1d-40e6-a7b2-05fd84a99137
Doncaster, C. Patrick
0eff2f42-fa0a-4e35-b6ac-475ad3482047

Spake, Rebecca, Barsoum, Nadia, Newton, Adrian C. and Doncaster, C. Patrick (2016) Drivers of the composition and diversity of carabid functional traits in UK coniferous plantations. Forest Ecology and Management, 359, 300-308. (doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2015.10.008).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Functional diversity (FD) is increasingly used as a metric to evaluate the impact of forest management strategies on ecosystem functioning. Management interventions that aim to maximise FD require knowledge of multiple environmental drivers of FD, which have not been studied to date in temperate coniferous production forests. We quantified the relative importance of abiotic (forest management) and biotic (ground vegetation community) drivers of carabid FD and trait distribution in 44 coniferous plantation forest stands across the UK. Carabid FD declined with canopy cover and carabid body length correlated negatively with the percentage of open semi-natural area surrounding a plot. We conclude that forest management could enhance carabid FD through initiatives that emulate natural disturbance regimes through gap creation. We found that neither functional nor taxonomic metrics of vegetation diversity correlated with carabid FD, suggesting that restoration of plant communities, a major goal of forest restoration efforts, will not necessarily enhance carabid FD in coniferous plantations.

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Accepted/In Press date: 6 October 2015
e-pub ahead of print date: 26 October 2015
Published date: 1 January 2016
Keywords: carabids, functional diversity, functional traits, plants, plantation forest, trait-based approach
Organisations: Environmental

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 391204
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/391204
ISSN: 0378-1127
PURE UUID: 8c559590-c6d7-4cda-819e-959bd9c34c7f
ORCID for C. Patrick Doncaster: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-9406-0693

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 08 Apr 2016 11:20
Last modified: 23 Jun 2020 00:25

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Contributors

Author: Rebecca Spake
Author: Nadia Barsoum
Author: Adrian C. Newton

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