Diversity of click beetles in managed nonnative coniferous and native beech stands: Consequences of changes in the structural and species composition of tree stands in Central Europe


The natural composition of forests has undergone significant changes over recent centuries. A closer-to-natural tree species composition has long been perceived as key to a high biodiversity. We investigated the impact on
communities of click beetles (Elateridae) caused by changes in the tree species composition of spruce monocultures compared to reference sites of recently unmanaged natural beech forests. To collect data, passive
interception traps were distributed within managed spruce stands of different age classes and natural beech forests of various developmental stages. The beetle species richness was slightly but not significantly higher in the
beech forests. The saproxylic species group was significantly more common in the spruce stands, whereas the group of nonsaproxylic species was significantly more abundant in the beech stands. In the commercial stands, the significantly highest species richness was in the clearings (0–10-year-old stands), and at this forest age class, the vast majority of the beetle species occurred in the spruce stands. In the developmental stages of the natural forest, a slightly higher beetle richness was found at the disintegration stage. The study results suggested that different tree species compositions and stand structures affect the communities of click beetles and substantially change their species composition and thus their response to external influences. Therefore, management of stands using diverse silvicultural systems is recommended for creating diverse ecological niches in forests.

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