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Kris Vandekerkhove (email), Luc De Keersmaeker, Ruben Walleyn, Frank Köhler, Luc Crevecoeur, Leen Govaere, Arno Thomaes, Kris Verheyen

Reappearance of old-growth elements in lowland woodlands in northern Belgium: Do the associated species follow?

Vandekerkhove K., De Keersmaeker L., Walleyn R., Köhler F., Crevecoeur L., Govaere L., Thomaes A., Verheyen K. (2011). Reappearance of old-growth elements in lowland woodlands in northern Belgium: Do the associated species follow? Silva Fennica vol. 45 no. 5 article id 78. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.78

Abstract

The forest cover of the western European lowland plain has been very low for centuries. Remaining forests were intensively managed, and old-growth elements like veteran trees and coarse woody debris became virtually absent. Only over the last decades have these old-growth elements progressively redeveloped in parks, lanes and forests, and have now reached their highest level over the last 500–1000 years. Biodiversity associated with these old-growth elements makes up an important part of overall forest biodiversity. The ability of species to recolonise the newly available habitat is strongly determined by limitations in their dispersal and establishment. We analyse the current status and development of old-growth elements in Flanders (northern Belgium) and the process of recolonisation by means of specific cases, focussing on saproxylic fungi and saproxylic beetles. Our results show that ‘hotspots’ of secondary old growth, even isolated small patches, may have more potential for specialised biodiversity than expected, and may provide important new strongholds for recovery and recolonisation of an important share of old-growth related species.

Keywords
colonisation; saproxylic species; dead wood; very large trees

Author Info
  • Vandekerkhove, INBO, Gaverstraat 4, B-9500 Geraardsbergen, Belgium ORCID ID:E-mail kris.vandekerkhove@inbo.be (email)
  • De Keersmaeker, INBO, Gaverstraat 4, B-9500 Geraardsbergen, Belgium ORCID ID:
  • Walleyn, INBO, Gaverstraat 4, B-9500 Geraardsbergen, Belgium ORCID ID:
  • Köhler, Koleopterologisches Forschungsbüro, Bornheim, Germany ORCID ID:
  • Crevecoeur, Genk, Belgium ORCID ID:
  • Govaere, Agency of Nature and Forests, Brussels, Belgium ORCID ID:
  • Thomaes, INBO, Gaverstraat 4, B-9500 Geraardsbergen, Belgium ORCID ID:
  • Verheyen, Ghent University, Laboratory of Forestry, Gontrode, Belgium ORCID ID:

Received 10 November 2010 Accepted 3 November 2011 Published 31 December 2011

Available at https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.78 | Download PDF

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