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Salvage logging reduces wild bee diversity, but not abundance, in severely burned mixed-conifer forest

Author(s): Sara M. Galbraith, James H. Cane, Andrew R. Moldenke, James W. Rivers
Year Published: 2019

Natural disturbances are critical for supporting biodiversity in many ecosystems, but subsequent management actions can influence the quality of habitat that follow these events. Post-disturbance salvage logging has negative consequences on certain components of forest biodiversity, but populations of some early seral-adapted organisms may be maintained in salvage-logged areas. We investigated the influence of an essential group of pollinators - wild bees - to recent post-wildfire salvage logging within managed mixed-conifer forest in the Pacific Northwest. We compared bee diversity (i.e., bee abundance, species richness, alpha diversity, and beta diversity) and habitat features (i.e., floral resources and available nesting substrates) in salvage-logged areas to unlogged sites, both of which experienced high-severity wildfire. Although we found no evidence for differences in bee abundance between salvage-logged and unlogged sites, interpolated estimates of species richness and both interpolated and extrapolated estimates of alpha diversity were greater in unlogged sites. Additionally, beta diversity was greater in unlogged sites when equal weight was given to rare species. Salvage logging did not select for specific functional groups of bees, as both logged and unlogged sites were dominated by generalist, social species that nest in the ground. However, habitat conditions for bees were influenced by salvage logging: flowering plant density was greater in salvage-logged sites during the latter half of the season, with fewer conifer snags and more woody debris than were available in unlogged sites. Our study indicates that salvage logging can support wild bee abundance, but that unlogged patches of severely burned forest supports slightly greater bee diversity within fire-prone mixed-conifer landscapes.

Citation: Galbraith, Sara M.; Cane, James H.; Moldenke, Andrew R.; Rivers, James W. 2019. Salvage logging reduces wild bee diversity, but not abundance, in severely burned mixed-conifer forest. Forest Ecology and Management 453:117622. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2019.117622
Topic(s): Fire Effects, Ecological - Second Order, Wildlife, Fire & Wildlife, Invertebrates, Pollinators
Ecosystem(s): None
Document Type: Book or Chapter or Journal Article
NRFSN number: 20575
FRAMES RCS number: 58873
Record updated: Jan 7, 2020