Vol. 50 No. 6, 2011
Effects of Thinning on Spider Diversity of an East Asian Subtropical Plantation Forest
Pao-Shen Huang1, I-Min Tso1,2, Hui-Chen Lin1,2, Liang-Kong Lin1,2, and Chung-Ping Lin1,2,*
1Department of Life Science, Tunghai Univ., Taichung 40704, Taiwan
2Center for Tropical Ecology and Biodiversity, Tunghai Univ., Taichung 40704, Taiwan
Pao-Shen Huang, I-Min Tso, Hui-Chen Lin, Liang-Kong Lin, and Chung-Ping Lin (2011) Studies
examining the effects of forest management on biodiversity in Asia are
scarce and conducted mostly in temperate areas. In this study, the
effects of the management on the biodiversity of a subtropical
plantation forest were assessed by comparing the composition of spiders
in Chamaecyparis formosensis plantations located in central Taiwan that received different degrees of thinning. Sampling plots were established in C. formosensis
plantation stands receiving no, moderate, and heavy thinning treatments
and a nearby natural broadleaf forest. The responses of spider
communities in different strata of the plantation forests to thinning
treatments varied. Heavy thinning treatment generated lower diversity
indices in ground spiders and higher abundances in canopy spiders.
Sampling plots in plantation stands receiving various thinning
treatments differed in the compositions of ground, understory, and
canopy spiders. Such composition variations resulted from abundance
changes of ground weavers on the ground and orb weavers in the
understory layer, which in turn seemed to be generated by reduced
understory vegetation complexity due to the thinning treatments.
Results of this study show that although thinning practices do not
increase species richness in a subtropical C. formosensis
plantation, they can generate alterations in understory vegetation
structures which can lead to increased habitat heterogeneity and spider
diversity in plantation forests.
Key words: Biodiversity, Chamaecyparis formosensis, Forest management, Araneae, Taiwan.
Tel: 886-4-23590121 ext. 32412. Fax: 886-4-23590296. E-mail: C.P. Lin:
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