Nematode communities of natural and managed beech forests - a pilot study

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Lisa Bjørnlund Strandmark, Mette Vestergård Madsen, Sanne Johansson, Mathilde Nyborg, Lise Steffensen, Søren Christensen

The soil nematode communities of natural beech forests and managed beech forests were surveyed in order to examine which community parameters, if any, would be suited to differentiate between the two management regimes. Nematodes were collected from mineral soil at three sites, each including managed and adjacent natural beech forests.

Following enumeration and identification of nematodes to family level, relative abundance of trophic groups, adult/juvenile ratio, Shannon-index, Plant Parasitic Index (PPI) and Maturity Index (MI) were determined.

A clear separation of samples according to site was found in a Canonical Community Ordination (CANOCO) that related nematode data and various soil parameters in each sample. Beech forests of Mid-Zealand (Suserup) had significantly lower sand content, higher pH, higher PPI and higher nematode diversity according to the Shannon-index than the forests of North Zealand (Farum and Rankeskov). A distinct difference in the distribution of families was observed between sites, which could be governed by differences in texture and pH. The MI of the two old natural forest sites (Farum and Suserup) was significantly higher than the comparable managed sites, while this was not the case for Rankeskov, which is in a less mature state. There was a significantly higher adult/juvenile ratio and higher relative abundance of bacterial feeders in the natural forests compared to the managed forests. The apparent relation between pH and Maturity Index in beech forests is discussed. We suggest dead wood input to be the driving variable leading to the observed differences in the nematode community between managed and natural forests of Zealand, Denmark. The marked site differences found in this study emphasizes the need to carefully choose reference areas where soil conditions etc. are very similar to the managed forest in question when reference schemes for nature-based forestry are being developed.

Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)53-62
Antal sider10
StatusUdgivet - 2002

ID: 1775705