Resilience of bryophyte communities in regenerating matrix forests after logging in temperate rainforests of coastal British Columbia

Baldwin, L. K.; Bradfield, G. E.
April 2010
Botany;Apr2010, Vol. 88 Issue 4, p297
Academic Journal
The resilience (measured as changes in functional group representation and species composition) of bryophyte communities found in the younger-aged (“matrix”) forests surrounding old-growth remnants was examined in two different forest types, warmer, drier (Nimpkish) versus cooler, wetter (Sayward), on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Bryophytes were sampled within 10 m × 2 m belt transects (species composition only) and using 10 cm × 30 cm microplots (composition and abundance) in two age classes of matrix forest, clearcuts (age 7–20 years), and second-growth (age 25–49 years) as well as in remnant old-growth forest stands (age >300 years). The cover of all bryophytes was diminished and more patchily distributed in younger-aged stands; however, the richness and frequency of bryophyte functional groups showed different responses in the two younger age class forests. Disturbance-associated species exhibited both higher richness and frequency in clearcut plots and higher richness in second-growth plots. In comparison, the richness of species associated with old-growth was largely unchanged in younger-aged forests compared with old-growth forests; however, the frequency of occurrence of species associated with old-growth was significantly reduced in younger-aged forests. The cooler, wetter forests exhibited greater resilience, as the difference in species composition between second-growth and old-growth stands was less than that between second-growth and old-growth stands in the warmer, drier forests. The greater difference in second-growth species composition in the warmer, drier forests was attributed mainly to the persistence of disturbance-associated species. Les auteurs ont examiné la résilience (mesurée à partir des changements de la représentation des groupes fonctionnels et de la composition en espèces) des communautés de bryophytes dans des forêts plus jeunes (« matrice ») entourant des vestiges de forêts surannées dans deux types de forêts différents, chaud et sec (Nimpkish) versus plus frais et plus humide (Sayward), sur l’île de Vancouver, en Colombie Canadienne. Ils ont échantillonné les bryophytes sur des transects de 10 m × 2 m (composition en espèces seulement) en utilisant des microparcelles de 10 cm × 30 cm (composition et abondance) dans deux classes d’âge de la forêt matricielle, dans les coupes à blanc (âge 7–20 ans) et en régénération (âge 25–49 ans), ainsi que dans des peuplements de forêt surannée résiduelle (âge >300 ans). On observe une couverture plus morcelée de l’ensemble des bryophytes dans les peuplements de jeune âge, cependant la richesse et la fréquence des groupes fonctionnels de bryophytes montrent différentes réactions dans les deux classes de forêts plus jeunes. Les espèces associées aux perturbations montrent à la fois une plus grande richesse et une plus grande fréquence dans les parcelles coupées à blanc et une plus grande richesse dans les parcelles en régénération. En comparaison, la richesse en espèces associée aux forêts surannées demeure largement inchangée; cependant, la fréquence de présence des espèces associées aux forêts surannées se voit significativement réduite dans les forêts plus jeunes. Les forêts plus fraîches et plus humides affichent une résilience plus importante, puisque la composition en espèces entre les forêts en régénération et les peuplements surannés est moindre que celle observée entre les forêts en régénération et les peuplements surannés des forêts plus chaudes et plus sèches. Les auteurs attribuent la plus grande différence en espèces des peuplements en régénération avec les forêts plus chaudes et plus sèches surtout à la persistance des espèces associées aux perturbations.


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