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The use of sentinel logs to assess host shifts in early beetle colonisers of deadwood under...

Bouget, C., Brin, A., Larrieu, L. (2020). The use of sentinel logs to assess host shifts in early beetle colonisers of deadwood under climate- and forestry-induced tree species substitutions: Tree substitutions and host shifts in beetles. Insect Conservation and Diversity.


1. Global change scenarios project drastic modifications in tree species range and an increase in exotic tree plantations. Subsequent tree species substitutions may alter habitat conditions for biodiversity. 2. We measured substitutability between tree species for early deadwood colonisers, through a sentinel log approach, i.e. through the experimental exposure of paired down deadwood (DDW) pieces to native beetles in native stands. We compared two native/ substitute tree species pairs: one conifer pair composed of a rapidly expanding exotic species (Douglas fir) and a declining native species (silver fir), and one deciduous pair composed of two native species, one expanding (sessile oak) and one retreating (beech) at the regional scale. 3. The effects of expanding exotic and native trees on beetle communities were not in line with expectations. 4. Species assemblages in Douglas fir DDW were indistinguishable from those in native silver fir DDW and did not contain fewer species. Assemblages were not more generalist on average in substitutes than in substituted trees: we did not note any decrease in species richness of functional groups to the detriment of specialist species. 5. Moreover, species richness and abundance were higher in substitute oak than in native beech DDW, confirming that species from the regional pool were able to colonise oak, even though it is a minor tree species at the regional level. 6. Large-scale monitoring schemes including multi-taxon, multi-year and multiple native/substitute pairs would further our knowledge of the generic effects of tree species substitution on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.

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