Rove beetles act as warning signs for clear-cutting consequences

Jun 12, 2007

New research from the University of Alberta and the Canadian Forest Service has revealed the humble rove beetle may actually have a lot to tell us about the effects of harvesting on forests species.

Rove beetles can be used as indicators of clear-cut harvesting and regeneration practices and can be used as an example as to how species react to harvesting. It has been found that after an area of forest was harvested, the many forest species, including rove beetles, decreased dramatically. As the forest regenerated, it never fully replicated the full characteristics of the older forest it replaced.

As insects are the most abundant animal species in forests, they have enormous potential as indicators of habitat change and recovery and are increasingly being used in conservation studies.

“We felt beetles were excellent candidates for this study because they are abundant and diverse, easily sampled, inhabit a variety of niches and are very sensitive to habitat change,” said John Spence, professor of Renewable Resources at the University of Alberta.

A total of 13, 978 rove beetles were collected and 98 species were identified during this study.

Once the forest was harvested the overall abundance of rove beetles declined while the diversity of species increased. Also most mature forest-dwelling species became much less abundant or disappeared completely immediately after harvest. Even the low amount of mature forest beetles that survived the initial harvest would eventually die out or migrate elsewhere within a few years of harvest.

“The more forests are harvested, the more mature forest species, such as the rove beetle, become threatened by fragmentation and loss of habitat. This study is significant because it indicates a new forest will not hold the same biota as an old forest, so we must ensure that forest managers conserve adequate patches of old forests or make adequate long term plans for their full recovery,” said Spence.

Source: University of Alberta

Explore further: GMO mosquito plan sparks outcry in Florida

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Behavioral ecologist studies beetle charisma

Jan 19, 2015

What attracts partners to each other? Is it a flashy car? A bright, colorful outfit? And how do these preferences ultimately affect the evolution and diversity of a species over time?

Brazilian scarab beetles found to be termitophiles

Jan 13, 2015

Termite soldiers are able to chemically detect intruders in their colonies. While most trespassers are swiftly dealt with, some spiders, centipedes, millipedes, and insects are allowed to find shelter within ...

Ninety-eight new beetle species discovered in Indonesia

Dec 22, 2014

Ninety-eight new species of the beetle genus Trigonopterus have been described from Java, Bali and other Indonesian islands. Museum scientists from Germany and their local counterparts used an innovative approa ...

Recommended for you

'Tiger heavyweight' Nepal hosts anti-poaching summit

10 hours ago

Nepal's success in turning tiger-fearing villagers into their protectors has seen none of the endangered cats killed for almost three years, offering key lessons for an anti-poaching summit opening in Kathmandu ...

GMO mosquito plan sparks outcry in Florida

Jan 31, 2015

A British company's plan to unleash hordes of genetically modified mosquitoes in Florida to reduce the threat of dengue fever and other diseases has sparked an outcry from fearful residents.

Population genomics unveil seahorse domain

Jan 30, 2015

In a finding vital to effective species management, a team including City College of New York biologists has determined that the lined seahorse (Hippocampus erectus) is more a permanent resident of the we ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.