Beetles Living it Up in the Forest

Clarky's Comment in Wood Matters Issue 34 caught the attention of Entomologist John McLean (Ph. D., MNZIF). John sent us a research paper ( Beetle diversity in forest and pastoral areas, Whangamata, Coromandel Peninsula, John A McLean and Diane C. Jones, New Zealand Natural Sciences (2006) 31: 25-42) which clearly showed significantly more diversity of important beetle populations in mature radiata pine forest.

Part of the abstract is reproduced below:

"Malaise traps were set out for four weeks in December 1997 to compare the beetle populations in kanuka bush, fern bush, a 25 year old mature radiata pine stand, a 6 year old radiata pine plantation, nearby hayfields, grassed foreshore areas and on coastal sand dunes. Greater numbers of beetle species were collected at the forested sites than at the pastoral, urban and sand dune sites. The greatest number of beetle species was collected in the mature radiata pine stand, which had a well developed understorey of shade tolerant native shrub species. The beetle faunas at forested locations had higher degrees of endemism (native beetles). Habitats maintained by constant human activity had more adventive species (not native, or exotic beetles)."

These are significant results and prove the important species diversity value of plantation forest. Thanks John for sharing your good work!