LENCINAS Maria Vanessa
The value of timber quality forests for insect conservation on Tierra del Fuego Island compared to associated unproductive environments
LENCINAS MV; MARTINEZ PASTUR G; ANDERSON CB; BUSSO CA
JOURNAL OF INSECT CONSERVATION
Lugar: Dordrecht; Año: 2008 p. 461 - 475
Insect community studies related to forest management focus principally on timber-quality stands, and often omit the remainder of the landscape. This study aimed mainly to compare insect communities of primary timber-quality forests (Nothofagus pumilio) with associated non-timber-quality stands (wetland, edge, riparian and N. antarctica forests), and secondarily to characterize these insect assemblages throughout the growing season and at different vertical strata to evaluate the importance of each habitat type for insect conservation. A total of 18,800 individuals belonging to 231 RTUs (recognizable taxonomic units) were identified, of which Diptera, Hymenoptera, Lepidoptera and Coleoptera were the dominant orders. Lepidoptera RTUs were mostly generalists, while the other main orders were most frequently founded in timber-quality forests and presented many RTUs with specific environmental requirements. Results showed that timber-quality stands had higher richness and abundance than associated non-timber-quality forests and possessed more exclusive species (18%), while 39% of RTUs were shared between all sites. The spatial heterogeneity of timber-quality stands generated different niches and favored insect diversity, which would not have been maintained by protecting non-timber-quality stands alone. Consequently, the proper management of subantarctic Nothofagus forests must include the conservation of timber-quality stands, as protection of non-timber-quality areas alone will not be sufficient for insect conservation at the landscape scale.