Managing for the persistence of saproxylic beetles in Tasmanian production forest

Christina Schmuki *1, Lynette Forster 1, Simon Grove 2, Caroline Mohammed 1

1 University of Tasmania, 1 Rays Crt, Kingston, Tasmania 7050, Australia
2 Forestry Tasmania, 79 Melville Street, Hobart, Tasmania 7000, Australia

Coarse woody debris (CWD) and the saproxylic biota that facilitate its decomposition are increasingly recognised by conservation biologists as important functional components of forest ecosystems.   Impending successive tree harvest rotations and pressures for shorter rotations and harvesting of logging residue for power generation threaten CWD availability in Tasmania and, as a consequence, the persistence of saproxylic biota and the forest processes they facilitate.   Our study uses a landscape genetics approach to find out how much, what type and what spatial distribution of CWD is needed to retain and maintain necessary levels of functional and structural connectivity for saproxylic beetles in different managed forest contexts in Tasmania.  The study contributes to a larger, collaborative, multi-taxon and multidisciplinary approach to understanding landscape-level forest management impacts and opportunities, by Forestry Tasmania and University of Tasmania.  We introduce the larger collaborative project and present preliminary findings from the study, focussing on saproxylic tenebrionid beetle Coripera deplanata.

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