Phenology and abundance of Enoicyla pusilla in conifer stands

M. J. Lombardero

Abstract


Aim of Study. We study the abundance of Enoicyla pusilla (Burmeister) in pine plantations and the effects of silvicultural thinning on insect population. This species is considered a rare member of the order Trichoptera, reported as absent or occasional in conifer forests. It has been suggested that the proliferation of conifer plantations may be a threat for this species by favoring population isolation. 

Area of study. Plantations of native and non-native pines in Galicia (NW of Spain).

Material and Methods. We used different traps systems, including 28 pitfall traps, to compared populations of insects in 14 thinned and unthinned plots of Pinus pinaster and P. radiata distributed across 3 forest stands. Traps were checked every 15 days during one year.

Main results.  We caught 1.219 larvae of E. pusilla. It was the third most abundant species captured in pitfall traps. Larval activity extended from January to late July. They were more abundant in the stands of P. radiata, probably because the denser foliage produced limits sunlight and helped to maintain litter moisture. Additionally needles of P. radiata had lower toughness and higher nitrogen content, which probably makes it a higher quality resource for the detritivorous larvae. Thinning did not affect larvae population.

Research highlights: Although managed forests cannot match the biodiversity value of native mixed species stands, if managed appropriately, they may provide habitat for native fauna while also allowing for forest production

Key words: caddisfly; Pinus pinaster; Pinus radiate; plantations; thinning.


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References


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DOI: 10.5424/fs/2013222-03020

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