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Data from: Disturbance-mediated heterogeneity drives pollinator diversity in boreal managed forest ecosystems


Rodríguez, Antonio; Kouki, Jari (2016), Data from: Disturbance-mediated heterogeneity drives pollinator diversity in boreal managed forest ecosystems, Dryad, Dataset,


Intensive forest management, together with fire suppression, have decreased structural complexity and altered dynamics of boreal forests profoundly. Such management threatens forest biodiversity and can reduce the provision of ecosystem services. Although the importance of ecosystem services is widely acknowledged, conservation strategies are hindered by poor knowledge about diversity patterns of service provider species as well as on mechanisms affecting these assemblages at different spatial and temporal scales. In this study, we assessed the effect of disturbance management on forest pollinator communities. To do so, we used a large-scale ecological experiment conducted in year 2000, where forest complexity was manipulated with different harvest regimes and prescribed fire. Results were consistent with a positive response of pollinators to increasing habitat heterogeneity driven by past disturbances. Harvested sites harbored a diverse pollinator community, and showed higher spatial and temporal turnover in species richness. Conversely, old-growth forest communities were a nested subset of harvested sites and contained half of their total diversity. Variation in community composition (β diversity) was primarily affected by species temporal turnover. Throughout the season, β diversity was controlled by fire and harvesting legacies, which provide environmental heterogeneity in the form of flowering and nesting resources over space and time. Conservation strategies may undervalue ecosystem services in dynamic, naturally disturbance-driven, landscapes when relying solely on undisturbed forests areas. However, maintaining natural dynamics in early successional forests, by emulating natural disturbances at harvesting, hold promise for the conservation of both biodiversity and ecosystem services in boreal forests.

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