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Animal Biodiversity and Conservation. Volume 25.1 (2002) Pages: 53-68

Population ecology and conservation of beetles and pseudoscorpions living in hollow oaks in Sweden

Ranius, T.

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Abstract

This paper aims at giving a summary of recent research on the habitat requirements and population structure of beetles and pseudoscorpions living in old, hollow oaks in Sweden. An inventory of old oaks in pasture woodlands revealed that the species richness of beetles is higher at sites that are originally open and are still grazed. The trees in these plots are preferred for two reasons: they are more sun–exposed and have a larger trunk diameter. Many species are harmed by forest regrowth and, thus, to preserve the rarer saproxylic fauna it is important to continue the management of areas with old oaks. In four of thirteen species (Osmoderma eremita, Tenebrio opacus, Elater ferrugineus and Larca lata), the occupancy per tree were found to be significantly positively correlated with the number of trees in the stand. This finding is noteworthy as there is little scientific evidence available to support that saproxylic beetles suffer from habitat fragmentation. The population dynamics were investigated on a certain study species, O. eremita. The results suggest that the individuals of each tree could be seen as a local population, and the populations in all occupied trees in a stand together form a metapopulation.

Keywords

Saproxylic, Tree hollows, Habitat fragmentation, Osmoderma eremita, Microclimate

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Ranius, T., 2002. Population ecology and conservation of beetles and pseudoscorpions living in hollow oaks in Sweden. Animal Biodiversity and Conservation, 25: 53-68

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