Entomologica Fennica

Abstracts of Volume 6 Number 2-3, 1995

O. Atlegrim & K. Sjöberg 1995: Effects of clear-cutting and selective felling in Swedish Boreal coniferous forest: Response of invertebrate taxa eaten by birds. - Entomologica Fennica 6: 79-90.

Our aim was to analyse the short-term effects (0-4 years) of selective felling and clear-cutting on the food resources of insectivorous birds. Literature data on bird diets showed that herbivorous larvae (Lepidoptera and Hymenoptera: Symphyta) and spiders (Araneae) were used by 81 and 50%, respectively, of 16 bird species breeding in the Swedish boreal coniferous forest. A field study comparing selective fellings, clear-cuttings and uncut controls showed considerable effects of clear-cutting on both terricolous and field layer invertebrates. Clear-cuttings had significantly lower abundance and biomass, and a different composition of herbivorous larvae and spiders, as well as a lower total biomass of invertebrates in the field layer than controls. Drastic changes of abiotic factors (like increased temperature range) following clear-cutting may directly affect the occurrence of invertebrates. However, indirect effects (like increased sun exposure, affecting food plant quality for herbivorous larvae) are probably also responsible. Selective fellings did not differ from controls in the occurrence of herbivorous larvae and spiders. Therefore, over the four-year term of our study, selective felling seems to provide birds with conditions similar to uncut forest for invertebrates used by birds.

Back to main page