Identifying practical indicators of biodiversity for stand-level management of plantation forests

George F Smith, Tom Gittings, Mark Wilson, Laura French, Anne Oxbrough, Saoirse O'Donoghue, John O'Halloran, Daniel Kelly, Fraser J G Mitchell, Thomas C Kelly, Susan Iremonger, Anne Marie McKee, Paul Giller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Identification of valid indicators of biodiversity is a critical need for sustainable forest management. We developed compositional, structural and functional indicators of biodiversity for five taxonomic groups—bryophytes, vascular plants, spiders, hoverflies and birds—using data from 44 Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) and ash (Fraxinus excelsior) plantation forests in Ireland. The best structural biodiversity indicator was stand stage, defined using a multivariate classification of forest structure variables. However, biodiversity trends over the forest cycle and between tree species differ among the taxonomic groups studied. Canopy cover was the main structural indicator and affected other structural variables such as cover of lower vegetation layers. Other structural indicators included deadwood and distances to forest edge and to broadleaved woodland. Functional indicators included stand age, site environmental characteristics and management practices. Compositional indicators were limited to more easily identifiable plant and bird species. Our results suggest that the biodiversity of any one of the species groups we surveyed cannot act as a surrogate for all of the other species groups. However, certain subgroups, such as forest bryophytes and saproxylic hoverflies, may be able to act as surrogates for each other. The indicators we have identified should be used together to identify stands of potentially high biodiversity or to evaluate the biodiversity effects of silvicultural management practices. They are readily assessed by non-specialists, ecologically meaningful and applicable over a broad area with similar climate conditions and silvicultural systems. The approach we have used to develop biodiversity indicators, including stand structural types, is widely relevant and can enhance sustainable forest management of plantations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)991-1015
JournalBiodiversity and Conservation
Volume17
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Fingerprint

forest plantations
plantation
biodiversity
Syrphidae
Picea sitchensis
sustainable forestry
forest management
management practice
silvicultural systems
Fraxinus excelsior
indicator
dead wood
forest edge
edge effects
Ireland
bryophyte
vascular plants
climate conditions
Araneae
vascular plant

Keywords

  • Biodiversity
  • Forest management
  • Indicator
  • Plantation
  • Species richness
  • Stand structure
  • Sustainable forestmanagement

Cite this

Smith, George F ; Gittings, Tom ; Wilson, Mark ; French, Laura ; Oxbrough, Anne ; O'Donoghue, Saoirse ; O'Halloran, John ; Kelly, Daniel ; Mitchell, Fraser J G ; Kelly, Thomas C ; Iremonger, Susan ; McKee, Anne Marie ; Giller, Paul. / Identifying practical indicators of biodiversity for stand-level management of plantation forests. In: Biodiversity and Conservation. 2008 ; Vol. 17, No. 5. pp. 991-1015.
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title = "Identifying practical indicators of biodiversity for stand-level management of plantation forests",
abstract = "Identification of valid indicators of biodiversity is a critical need for sustainable forest management. We developed compositional, structural and functional indicators of biodiversity for five taxonomic groups—bryophytes, vascular plants, spiders, hoverflies and birds—using data from 44 Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) and ash (Fraxinus excelsior) plantation forests in Ireland. The best structural biodiversity indicator was stand stage, defined using a multivariate classification of forest structure variables. However, biodiversity trends over the forest cycle and between tree species differ among the taxonomic groups studied. Canopy cover was the main structural indicator and affected other structural variables such as cover of lower vegetation layers. Other structural indicators included deadwood and distances to forest edge and to broadleaved woodland. Functional indicators included stand age, site environmental characteristics and management practices. Compositional indicators were limited to more easily identifiable plant and bird species. Our results suggest that the biodiversity of any one of the species groups we surveyed cannot act as a surrogate for all of the other species groups. However, certain subgroups, such as forest bryophytes and saproxylic hoverflies, may be able to act as surrogates for each other. The indicators we have identified should be used together to identify stands of potentially high biodiversity or to evaluate the biodiversity effects of silvicultural management practices. They are readily assessed by non-specialists, ecologically meaningful and applicable over a broad area with similar climate conditions and silvicultural systems. The approach we have used to develop biodiversity indicators, including stand structural types, is widely relevant and can enhance sustainable forest management of plantations.",
keywords = "Biodiversity, Forest management, Indicator, Plantation, Species richness, Stand structure, Sustainable forestmanagement",
author = "Smith, {George F} and Tom Gittings and Mark Wilson and Laura French and Anne Oxbrough and Saoirse O'Donoghue and John O'Halloran and Daniel Kelly and Mitchell, {Fraser J G} and Kelly, {Thomas C} and Susan Iremonger and McKee, {Anne Marie} and Paul Giller",
note = "Allen SE, Grimshaw HM, Rowland AP (1986) Chemical analysis. In: Moore PD, Chapman SB (eds) Methods in plant ecology. Blackwell, Oxford, pp 285–344 Anand M, Laurence S, Rayfield B (2005) Diversity relationships among taxonomic groups in recovering and restored forests. Conserv Biol 19:955–962 Atkinson MD (1992) Biological flora of the British isles: Betula pendula Roth (B. verrucosa ehrh.) and B. pubescens Ehrh. J Ecol 80:837–870 Beaman M (1994) Palearctic birds. Harrier, Stonyhurst Berg A ° , Ehnstro¨m B, Gustafsson L et al (1994) Threatened plant, animal, and fungus species in swedish forests: distribution and habitat associations. Conserv Biol 8:718–731 Bibby C, Burgess ND, Hill DA (1992) Bird census techniques. Academic Press, London Bibby CJ, Bain CG, Burges DJ (1989) Bird communities of highland birchwoods. Bird Study 36:123–133 Brockerhoff EG, Ecroyd CE, Leckie AC et al (2003) Diversity and succession of adventive and indigenous vascular understorey plants in Pinus radiata plantation forests in New Zealand. For Ecol Manage 185:307–326 Coombes RH, Crowe O, Lysaght L et al (2002) Countryside bird survey report 1998–2000. Bird Watch Ireland, Dublin Cross JR (1998) An outline and map of the potential natural vegetation of Ireland. Appl Veg Sci 1:241–252 Currie FA, Balmford R (1982) The value to birdlife of retaining small conifer stands beyond normal felling age within forests. Q J For 76:153–160 Curtis D (1980) Pitfalls in spider community studies. J Arach 8:271–280 Day KR, Marshall S, Heaney C (1993) Associations between forest type and invertebrates: ground beetle community patterns in a natural oakwood and juxtaposed conifer plantations. Forestry 66:37–50 Dennis P, Young M, Gordon I (1998) Distribution and abundance of small insects and arachnids in relation to structural heterogeneity of grazed, indigenous grasslands. Ecol Entomol 23:253–264 Devlaeminck R, Bossuyt B, Hermy M (2005) Seed dispersal from a forest into adjacent cropland. Agric Ecosys Environ 107:57–64 Duffy BL, O’Halloran J, Kelly TCK et al (1997) The breeding bird communities of Balrath wood, Co. Meath, 1996: a preliminary investigation. Ir For 54:2–8 Dufreˆne M, Legendre P (1997) Species assemblages and indicator species: the need for a flexible asymmetric approach. Ecol Monogr 67:345–366 Ehrle´n J, Eriksson O (2000) Dispersal limitation and patch occupancy in forest herbs. Ecology 81:1667– Engelmark O, Hytteborn H (1999) Coniferous forests. Acta Phytogeogr Suec 84:55–74 Eycott AE, Watkinson AR, Dolman PM (2006) Ecological patterns of plant diversity in a plantation forest managed by clearfelling. J Appl Ecol 43:1160–1171 Fahy O, Gormally M (1998) A comparison of plant and beetle communities in an Irish oak woodland with a nearby by conifer plantation and clearfelled site. For Ecol Manage 110:263–273 Ferris R, Humphrey JW (1999) A review of potential biodiversity indicators for application in British forests. Forestry 72:313–328 Ferris R, Peace AJ, Humphrey JW, et al (2000) Relationships between vegetation, site type and stand structure in coniferous plantations in Britain. For Ecol Manage 136:35–51 Forest Service (2000a) Afforestation grant and premium schemes. Forest Service, Johnstown Castle Forest Service (2000b) Code of best forest practice– Ireland. Forest Service, Johnstown Castle Forest Service (2000c) Forest biodiversity guidelines. Forest Service, Johnstown Castle Forest Service (2006) Forest environment protection (afforestation) scheme. Forest Service, Johnstown Castle Forestry Commission (2004) The UK forestry standard. Forestry Commission, Edinburgh French LJ, Smith GF, Kelly DL et al (in press) Ground flora communities in temperate oceanic plantation forests and the influence of silvicultural, geographic and edaphic factors. For Ecol Manage Gaston KJ (1996) Species richness: measure and measurement. In: Gaston KJ (ed) Biodiversity: a biology of numbers and difference. Blackwell Science, Oxford, pp 396 Greenstone M (1984) Determinants of web spider species diversity: vegetation structural diversity vs. prey availability. Oecologia 62:299–304 Grime JP (1979) Plant strategies and vegetation processes. Wiley & Sons, Chichester Halpern CB, Spies TA (1995) Plant species diversity in natural and managed forests of the Pacific northwest. Ecol Appl 5:913–934 Hayden T, Harrington R (2001) Exploring Irish mammals. Town House, Dublin Hill MO (1979) The development of flora in even-aged plantations. In: Ford ED, Malcolm DC, Atterson J (eds) The ecology of even aged plantations. Institute for Terrestrial Ecology, Cambridge, pp 175–192 Hill MO, Jones EW (1978) Vegetation changes resulting from afforestation of rough grazing in Caeo Forest, South Wales. J Ecol 66:433–456 Hodge SJ, Peterken GF (1998) Deadwood in British forests: Priorities and a strategy. Forestry 71:99–112 Howard PC, Viskanic P, Davenport TRB et al (1998) Complementarity and the use of indicator groups for reserve selection in Uganda. Nature 394:472–475 Humphrey JW (2005) Benefits to biodiversity from developing old-growth conditions in British upland spruce plantations: a review and recommendations. Forestry 78:33–53 Humphrey JW, Davey S, Peace AJ et al (2002) Lichens and bryophyte communities of planted and seminatural forests in Britain: the influence of site type, stand structure and deadwood. Biol Conserv 107:165–180 Humphrey JW, Hawes C, Peace AJ et al (1999) Relationships between insect diversity and habitat characteristics in plantation forests. For Ecol Manage 113:11–21 Humphrey JW, Newton AC, Peace AJ et al (2000) The importance of conifer plantations in northern Britain as a habitat for native fungi. Biol Conserv 96:241–252 Humphrey JW, Peace AJ (2003) Deadwood. In: Humphrey J, Ferris R, Quine C (eds) Biodiversity in Britain’s planted forests. Forestry Commission, Edinburgh, pp 41–49 Iremonger S, Gittings T, Smith GF et al (2006) Investigation of experimental methods to enhance biodiversity in plantation forests. Report for COFORD and EPA, Dublin Iremonger S, O’Halloran J, Kelly DL et al (2007) Biodiversity in Irish plantation forests. Environmental Protection Agency, Dublin Jones EW (1959) Biological flora of the British isles: Quercus L. J Ecol 47:169–222 Jonsson BG, Jonsell M (1999) Exploring potential biodiversity indicators in boreal forests. Biodivers Cons 8:1417–1433 Kati V, Devillers P, Dufreˆne M, et al (2004) Testing the value of six taxonomic groups as biodiversity indicators at a local scale. Conserv Biol 18:667–675 Kelly DL (1981) The native forest vegetation of Killarney, south-west Ireland: an ecological account. J Ecol 69:437–472 Kelly DL (2005) Woodland on the western fringe: Irish oakwood diversity and the challenges of conservation. Bot J Scot 57:21–40 Key RS (1995) Invertebrate conservation and new woodland in Britain. In: Ferris-Kaan R (ed) The ecology of woodland creation. John Wiley & Sons, Chichester Larsson T-B (2001) Biodiversity evaluation tools for European forests. Ecological bulletins, vol 50. Blackwell, Oxford Lawton JH, Bignell DE, Bolton B et al (1998) Biodiversity inventories, indicator taxa and effects of habitat modification in tropical forest. Nature 391:72–76 Legendre P, Legendre L (1998) Numerical ecology. Developments in environmental modelling, vol 20. 2nd English edn. Elsevier, Amsterdam Leppa¨niemi P, Hallikainen V, Mikkola K et al (1998) Forest structure classes in central Finnish Lapland. Scand J For Res 13:442–450 Lindenmayer DB (1999) Future directions for biodiversity conservation in managed forests: indicator species, impact studies and monitoring programs. For Ecol Manage 115:277–287 Lindenmayer DB, Franklin JF, Fischer J (2006) General management principles and a checklist of strategies to guide forest biodiversity conservation. Biol Conserv 131:433–445 Lindenmayer DB, Margules CR, Botkin DB (2000) Indicators of biodiversity for ecologically sustainable forest management. Conserv Biol 14:941–950 Magurran AE (2004) Measuring biological diversity. Blackwell Publishing, Oxford McCune B, Mefford MJ (1997) PC-ORD for Windows, version 4.25. MjM Software, Glenedon Beach, Oregon McElhinny C, Gibbons P, Brack C et al (2005) Forest and woodland stand structural complexity: its definition and measurement. For Ecol Manage 218:1–24 McNett B, Rypstra A (2000) Habitat selection in a large orb-weaving spider: vegetational complexity determines site selection and distribution. Ecol Entomol 25:423–432 Mueller-Dombois D, Ellenberg H (1974) Aims and methods of vegetation ecology. Wiley, New York Negi HR, Gadgil M (2002) Cross-taxon surrogacy of biodiversity in the Indian Garhwal Himalaya. Biol Conserv 105:143–155 Niemela J, Haila Y, Punttila P (1996) The importance of small-scale heterogeneity in boreal forest-floor invertebrates across the succession gradient. Ecography 19:352–368 Niemi GJ, McDonald ME (2004) Application of ecological indicators. Annu Rev Ecol Evol Syst 35:89–111 Noss RF (1990) Indicators for monitoring biodiversity: a hierarchical approach. Conserv Biol 4:355–364 Noss RF (1999) Assessing and monitoring forest biodiversity: a suggested framework and indicators. For Ecol Manage 115:135–146 O’Halloran J, Gittings T, Smith GF et al (2004) Biodiversity of plantation forests in Ireland: Bioforest project. In: MacLennan L (ed) Opportunities for Biodiversity Enhancement in Plantation Forests. COFORD, Dublin, Cork, pp 29–38 O’Halloran J, Walsh PM, Giller PS et al (1999) An assessment of avian biodiversity and opportunities for enhancement in Ireland’s forests: preliminary results. Ir For 55:2–14 Oertli S, Mu¨ller A, Steiner D et al (2005) Cross-taxon congruence of species diversity and community similarity among three insect taxa in a mosaic landscape. Biol Conserv 126:195–205 Oxbrough AG, Gittings T, O’Halloran J et al (2005) Structural indicators of spider communities across the forest plantation cycle. For Ecol Manage 212:171–183 Pausas JG, Austin MP (2001) Patterns of plant species richness in relation to different environments: an appraisal. J Vegetat Sci 12:153–166 Pharo EJ, Beattie AJ, Binns D (1999) Vascular plant diversity as a surrogate for bryophyte and lichen diversity. Conserv Biol 13:282–292 Pithon J, O’Halloran J, Moles R (2005) The influence of coniferous afforestation on lowland farmland bird communities in Ireland: different seasons and landscape contexts. Landscape Urban Plann 71:91–103 Pitka¨nen S (1997) Correlation between stand structure and ground vegetation: an analytical approach. Plant Ecol 131:109–126 Prendergast JR, Quinn RM, Lawton JH et al (1993) Rare species, the coincidence of diversity hotspots and conservation strategies. Nature 365:335–337 S{\ae}tersdal M, Gjerde I, Blom HH et al (2003) Vascular plants as a surrogate species group in complementary site selection for bryophytes, macrolichens, spiders, carabids, staphylinids, snails, and wood living polypore fungi in a northern forest. Biol Conserv 115:21–31 Simila¨ M, Kouki J, Mo¨nkko¨nen M et al (2006) Co-variation and indicators of species diversity: can richness of forest-dwelling species be predicted in northern boreal forests? Ecol Indicators 6:686–700 Smith AJE (2004) The moss flora of Britain and Ireland. 2nd edn. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge Smith G, Gittings T, Wilson M et al (2005) Assessment of biodiversity at different stages of the forest cycle. Report for COFORD and EPA, Dublin http://www.coford.ie/iopen24/pub/pub/Project_files/ 312Report.pdf Sneath PHA, Sokal RR (1973) Numerical taxonomy. W.H. Freeman, San Francisco Sokal RR, Rohlf FJ (1995) Biometry. 3rd edn. W.H. Freeman and Co., New York Sommagio D (1999) Syrphidae: can they be used as environmental bioindicators? Agric Ecosys Environ 74:343–356",
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doi = "10.1007/s10531-007-9274-3",
language = "English",
volume = "17",
pages = "991--1015",
journal = "Biodiversity and Conservation",
issn = "0960-3115",
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}

Smith, GF, Gittings, T, Wilson, M, French, L, Oxbrough, A, O'Donoghue, S, O'Halloran, J, Kelly, D, Mitchell, FJG, Kelly, TC, Iremonger, S, McKee, AM & Giller, P 2008, 'Identifying practical indicators of biodiversity for stand-level management of plantation forests', Biodiversity and Conservation, vol. 17, no. 5, pp. 991-1015. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10531-007-9274-3

Identifying practical indicators of biodiversity for stand-level management of plantation forests. / Smith, George F; Gittings, Tom; Wilson, Mark; French, Laura; Oxbrough, Anne; O'Donoghue, Saoirse; O'Halloran, John; Kelly, Daniel; Mitchell, Fraser J G; Kelly, Thomas C; Iremonger, Susan; McKee, Anne Marie; Giller, Paul.

In: Biodiversity and Conservation, Vol. 17, No. 5, 2008, p. 991-1015.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Identifying practical indicators of biodiversity for stand-level management of plantation forests

AU - Smith, George F

AU - Gittings, Tom

AU - Wilson, Mark

AU - French, Laura

AU - Oxbrough, Anne

AU - O'Donoghue, Saoirse

AU - O'Halloran, John

AU - Kelly, Daniel

AU - Mitchell, Fraser J G

AU - Kelly, Thomas C

AU - Iremonger, Susan

AU - McKee, Anne Marie

AU - Giller, Paul

N1 - Allen SE, Grimshaw HM, Rowland AP (1986) Chemical analysis. In: Moore PD, Chapman SB (eds) Methods in plant ecology. Blackwell, Oxford, pp 285–344 Anand M, Laurence S, Rayfield B (2005) Diversity relationships among taxonomic groups in recovering and restored forests. Conserv Biol 19:955–962 Atkinson MD (1992) Biological flora of the British isles: Betula pendula Roth (B. verrucosa ehrh.) and B. pubescens Ehrh. J Ecol 80:837–870 Beaman M (1994) Palearctic birds. Harrier, Stonyhurst Berg A ° , Ehnstro¨m B, Gustafsson L et al (1994) Threatened plant, animal, and fungus species in swedish forests: distribution and habitat associations. Conserv Biol 8:718–731 Bibby C, Burgess ND, Hill DA (1992) Bird census techniques. Academic Press, London Bibby CJ, Bain CG, Burges DJ (1989) Bird communities of highland birchwoods. Bird Study 36:123–133 Brockerhoff EG, Ecroyd CE, Leckie AC et al (2003) Diversity and succession of adventive and indigenous vascular understorey plants in Pinus radiata plantation forests in New Zealand. For Ecol Manage 185:307–326 Coombes RH, Crowe O, Lysaght L et al (2002) Countryside bird survey report 1998–2000. Bird Watch Ireland, Dublin Cross JR (1998) An outline and map of the potential natural vegetation of Ireland. Appl Veg Sci 1:241–252 Currie FA, Balmford R (1982) The value to birdlife of retaining small conifer stands beyond normal felling age within forests. Q J For 76:153–160 Curtis D (1980) Pitfalls in spider community studies. J Arach 8:271–280 Day KR, Marshall S, Heaney C (1993) Associations between forest type and invertebrates: ground beetle community patterns in a natural oakwood and juxtaposed conifer plantations. Forestry 66:37–50 Dennis P, Young M, Gordon I (1998) Distribution and abundance of small insects and arachnids in relation to structural heterogeneity of grazed, indigenous grasslands. Ecol Entomol 23:253–264 Devlaeminck R, Bossuyt B, Hermy M (2005) Seed dispersal from a forest into adjacent cropland. Agric Ecosys Environ 107:57–64 Duffy BL, O’Halloran J, Kelly TCK et al (1997) The breeding bird communities of Balrath wood, Co. Meath, 1996: a preliminary investigation. Ir For 54:2–8 Dufreˆne M, Legendre P (1997) Species assemblages and indicator species: the need for a flexible asymmetric approach. Ecol Monogr 67:345–366 Ehrle´n J, Eriksson O (2000) Dispersal limitation and patch occupancy in forest herbs. Ecology 81:1667– Engelmark O, Hytteborn H (1999) Coniferous forests. Acta Phytogeogr Suec 84:55–74 Eycott AE, Watkinson AR, Dolman PM (2006) Ecological patterns of plant diversity in a plantation forest managed by clearfelling. J Appl Ecol 43:1160–1171 Fahy O, Gormally M (1998) A comparison of plant and beetle communities in an Irish oak woodland with a nearby by conifer plantation and clearfelled site. For Ecol Manage 110:263–273 Ferris R, Humphrey JW (1999) A review of potential biodiversity indicators for application in British forests. Forestry 72:313–328 Ferris R, Peace AJ, Humphrey JW, et al (2000) Relationships between vegetation, site type and stand structure in coniferous plantations in Britain. For Ecol Manage 136:35–51 Forest Service (2000a) Afforestation grant and premium schemes. Forest Service, Johnstown Castle Forest Service (2000b) Code of best forest practice– Ireland. Forest Service, Johnstown Castle Forest Service (2000c) Forest biodiversity guidelines. Forest Service, Johnstown Castle Forest Service (2006) Forest environment protection (afforestation) scheme. Forest Service, Johnstown Castle Forestry Commission (2004) The UK forestry standard. Forestry Commission, Edinburgh French LJ, Smith GF, Kelly DL et al (in press) Ground flora communities in temperate oceanic plantation forests and the influence of silvicultural, geographic and edaphic factors. For Ecol Manage Gaston KJ (1996) Species richness: measure and measurement. In: Gaston KJ (ed) Biodiversity: a biology of numbers and difference. Blackwell Science, Oxford, pp 396 Greenstone M (1984) Determinants of web spider species diversity: vegetation structural diversity vs. prey availability. Oecologia 62:299–304 Grime JP (1979) Plant strategies and vegetation processes. Wiley & Sons, Chichester Halpern CB, Spies TA (1995) Plant species diversity in natural and managed forests of the Pacific northwest. Ecol Appl 5:913–934 Hayden T, Harrington R (2001) Exploring Irish mammals. Town House, Dublin Hill MO (1979) The development of flora in even-aged plantations. In: Ford ED, Malcolm DC, Atterson J (eds) The ecology of even aged plantations. Institute for Terrestrial Ecology, Cambridge, pp 175–192 Hill MO, Jones EW (1978) Vegetation changes resulting from afforestation of rough grazing in Caeo Forest, South Wales. J Ecol 66:433–456 Hodge SJ, Peterken GF (1998) Deadwood in British forests: Priorities and a strategy. Forestry 71:99–112 Howard PC, Viskanic P, Davenport TRB et al (1998) Complementarity and the use of indicator groups for reserve selection in Uganda. Nature 394:472–475 Humphrey JW (2005) Benefits to biodiversity from developing old-growth conditions in British upland spruce plantations: a review and recommendations. Forestry 78:33–53 Humphrey JW, Davey S, Peace AJ et al (2002) Lichens and bryophyte communities of planted and seminatural forests in Britain: the influence of site type, stand structure and deadwood. Biol Conserv 107:165–180 Humphrey JW, Hawes C, Peace AJ et al (1999) Relationships between insect diversity and habitat characteristics in plantation forests. For Ecol Manage 113:11–21 Humphrey JW, Newton AC, Peace AJ et al (2000) The importance of conifer plantations in northern Britain as a habitat for native fungi. Biol Conserv 96:241–252 Humphrey JW, Peace AJ (2003) Deadwood. In: Humphrey J, Ferris R, Quine C (eds) Biodiversity in Britain’s planted forests. Forestry Commission, Edinburgh, pp 41–49 Iremonger S, Gittings T, Smith GF et al (2006) Investigation of experimental methods to enhance biodiversity in plantation forests. Report for COFORD and EPA, Dublin Iremonger S, O’Halloran J, Kelly DL et al (2007) Biodiversity in Irish plantation forests. Environmental Protection Agency, Dublin Jones EW (1959) Biological flora of the British isles: Quercus L. J Ecol 47:169–222 Jonsson BG, Jonsell M (1999) Exploring potential biodiversity indicators in boreal forests. Biodivers Cons 8:1417–1433 Kati V, Devillers P, Dufreˆne M, et al (2004) Testing the value of six taxonomic groups as biodiversity indicators at a local scale. Conserv Biol 18:667–675 Kelly DL (1981) The native forest vegetation of Killarney, south-west Ireland: an ecological account. J Ecol 69:437–472 Kelly DL (2005) Woodland on the western fringe: Irish oakwood diversity and the challenges of conservation. Bot J Scot 57:21–40 Key RS (1995) Invertebrate conservation and new woodland in Britain. In: Ferris-Kaan R (ed) The ecology of woodland creation. John Wiley & Sons, Chichester Larsson T-B (2001) Biodiversity evaluation tools for European forests. Ecological bulletins, vol 50. Blackwell, Oxford Lawton JH, Bignell DE, Bolton B et al (1998) Biodiversity inventories, indicator taxa and effects of habitat modification in tropical forest. Nature 391:72–76 Legendre P, Legendre L (1998) Numerical ecology. Developments in environmental modelling, vol 20. 2nd English edn. Elsevier, Amsterdam Leppa¨niemi P, Hallikainen V, Mikkola K et al (1998) Forest structure classes in central Finnish Lapland. Scand J For Res 13:442–450 Lindenmayer DB (1999) Future directions for biodiversity conservation in managed forests: indicator species, impact studies and monitoring programs. For Ecol Manage 115:277–287 Lindenmayer DB, Franklin JF, Fischer J (2006) General management principles and a checklist of strategies to guide forest biodiversity conservation. Biol Conserv 131:433–445 Lindenmayer DB, Margules CR, Botkin DB (2000) Indicators of biodiversity for ecologically sustainable forest management. Conserv Biol 14:941–950 Magurran AE (2004) Measuring biological diversity. Blackwell Publishing, Oxford McCune B, Mefford MJ (1997) PC-ORD for Windows, version 4.25. MjM Software, Glenedon Beach, Oregon McElhinny C, Gibbons P, Brack C et al (2005) Forest and woodland stand structural complexity: its definition and measurement. For Ecol Manage 218:1–24 McNett B, Rypstra A (2000) Habitat selection in a large orb-weaving spider: vegetational complexity determines site selection and distribution. Ecol Entomol 25:423–432 Mueller-Dombois D, Ellenberg H (1974) Aims and methods of vegetation ecology. Wiley, New York Negi HR, Gadgil M (2002) Cross-taxon surrogacy of biodiversity in the Indian Garhwal Himalaya. Biol Conserv 105:143–155 Niemela J, Haila Y, Punttila P (1996) The importance of small-scale heterogeneity in boreal forest-floor invertebrates across the succession gradient. Ecography 19:352–368 Niemi GJ, McDonald ME (2004) Application of ecological indicators. Annu Rev Ecol Evol Syst 35:89–111 Noss RF (1990) Indicators for monitoring biodiversity: a hierarchical approach. Conserv Biol 4:355–364 Noss RF (1999) Assessing and monitoring forest biodiversity: a suggested framework and indicators. For Ecol Manage 115:135–146 O’Halloran J, Gittings T, Smith GF et al (2004) Biodiversity of plantation forests in Ireland: Bioforest project. In: MacLennan L (ed) Opportunities for Biodiversity Enhancement in Plantation Forests. COFORD, Dublin, Cork, pp 29–38 O’Halloran J, Walsh PM, Giller PS et al (1999) An assessment of avian biodiversity and opportunities for enhancement in Ireland’s forests: preliminary results. Ir For 55:2–14 Oertli S, Mu¨ller A, Steiner D et al (2005) Cross-taxon congruence of species diversity and community similarity among three insect taxa in a mosaic landscape. Biol Conserv 126:195–205 Oxbrough AG, Gittings T, O’Halloran J et al (2005) Structural indicators of spider communities across the forest plantation cycle. For Ecol Manage 212:171–183 Pausas JG, Austin MP (2001) Patterns of plant species richness in relation to different environments: an appraisal. J Vegetat Sci 12:153–166 Pharo EJ, Beattie AJ, Binns D (1999) Vascular plant diversity as a surrogate for bryophyte and lichen diversity. Conserv Biol 13:282–292 Pithon J, O’Halloran J, Moles R (2005) The influence of coniferous afforestation on lowland farmland bird communities in Ireland: different seasons and landscape contexts. Landscape Urban Plann 71:91–103 Pitka¨nen S (1997) Correlation between stand structure and ground vegetation: an analytical approach. Plant Ecol 131:109–126 Prendergast JR, Quinn RM, Lawton JH et al (1993) Rare species, the coincidence of diversity hotspots and conservation strategies. Nature 365:335–337 Sætersdal M, Gjerde I, Blom HH et al (2003) Vascular plants as a surrogate species group in complementary site selection for bryophytes, macrolichens, spiders, carabids, staphylinids, snails, and wood living polypore fungi in a northern forest. Biol Conserv 115:21–31 Simila¨ M, Kouki J, Mo¨nkko¨nen M et al (2006) Co-variation and indicators of species diversity: can richness of forest-dwelling species be predicted in northern boreal forests? Ecol Indicators 6:686–700 Smith AJE (2004) The moss flora of Britain and Ireland. 2nd edn. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge Smith G, Gittings T, Wilson M et al (2005) Assessment of biodiversity at different stages of the forest cycle. Report for COFORD and EPA, Dublin http://www.coford.ie/iopen24/pub/pub/Project_files/ 312Report.pdf Sneath PHA, Sokal RR (1973) Numerical taxonomy. W.H. Freeman, San Francisco Sokal RR, Rohlf FJ (1995) Biometry. 3rd edn. W.H. Freeman and Co., New York Sommagio D (1999) Syrphidae: can they be used as environmental bioindicators? Agric Ecosys Environ 74:343–356

PY - 2008

Y1 - 2008

N2 - Identification of valid indicators of biodiversity is a critical need for sustainable forest management. We developed compositional, structural and functional indicators of biodiversity for five taxonomic groups—bryophytes, vascular plants, spiders, hoverflies and birds—using data from 44 Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) and ash (Fraxinus excelsior) plantation forests in Ireland. The best structural biodiversity indicator was stand stage, defined using a multivariate classification of forest structure variables. However, biodiversity trends over the forest cycle and between tree species differ among the taxonomic groups studied. Canopy cover was the main structural indicator and affected other structural variables such as cover of lower vegetation layers. Other structural indicators included deadwood and distances to forest edge and to broadleaved woodland. Functional indicators included stand age, site environmental characteristics and management practices. Compositional indicators were limited to more easily identifiable plant and bird species. Our results suggest that the biodiversity of any one of the species groups we surveyed cannot act as a surrogate for all of the other species groups. However, certain subgroups, such as forest bryophytes and saproxylic hoverflies, may be able to act as surrogates for each other. The indicators we have identified should be used together to identify stands of potentially high biodiversity or to evaluate the biodiversity effects of silvicultural management practices. They are readily assessed by non-specialists, ecologically meaningful and applicable over a broad area with similar climate conditions and silvicultural systems. The approach we have used to develop biodiversity indicators, including stand structural types, is widely relevant and can enhance sustainable forest management of plantations.

AB - Identification of valid indicators of biodiversity is a critical need for sustainable forest management. We developed compositional, structural and functional indicators of biodiversity for five taxonomic groups—bryophytes, vascular plants, spiders, hoverflies and birds—using data from 44 Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) and ash (Fraxinus excelsior) plantation forests in Ireland. The best structural biodiversity indicator was stand stage, defined using a multivariate classification of forest structure variables. However, biodiversity trends over the forest cycle and between tree species differ among the taxonomic groups studied. Canopy cover was the main structural indicator and affected other structural variables such as cover of lower vegetation layers. Other structural indicators included deadwood and distances to forest edge and to broadleaved woodland. Functional indicators included stand age, site environmental characteristics and management practices. Compositional indicators were limited to more easily identifiable plant and bird species. Our results suggest that the biodiversity of any one of the species groups we surveyed cannot act as a surrogate for all of the other species groups. However, certain subgroups, such as forest bryophytes and saproxylic hoverflies, may be able to act as surrogates for each other. The indicators we have identified should be used together to identify stands of potentially high biodiversity or to evaluate the biodiversity effects of silvicultural management practices. They are readily assessed by non-specialists, ecologically meaningful and applicable over a broad area with similar climate conditions and silvicultural systems. The approach we have used to develop biodiversity indicators, including stand structural types, is widely relevant and can enhance sustainable forest management of plantations.

KW - Biodiversity

KW - Forest management

KW - Indicator

KW - Plantation

KW - Species richness

KW - Stand structure

KW - Sustainable forestmanagement

U2 - 10.1007/s10531-007-9274-3

DO - 10.1007/s10531-007-9274-3

M3 - Article

VL - 17

SP - 991

EP - 1015

JO - Biodiversity and Conservation

JF - Biodiversity and Conservation

SN - 0960-3115

IS - 5

ER -