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Avian top-down control affects invertebrate herbivory and sapling growth more strongly than overstorey species composition in temperate forest fragments

Daan Dekeukeleire (UGent) , Irene van Schrojenstein Lantman (UGent) , Lionel Hertzog (UGent) , Martijn L. Vandegehuchte (UGent) , Diederik Strubbe (UGent) , Pieter Vantieghem (UGent) , An Martel (UGent) , Kris Verheyen (UGent) , Dries Bonte (UGent) and Luc Lens (UGent)
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Abstract
To better understand natural regeneration of trees and forest dynamics it is important to gain insight into the drivers of invertebrate herbivory. In mature forests, associational resistance of trees resulting from a high diversity of neighbouring trees is common, and can have cascading effects on tree growth through resource concentration effects or through changes in top-down control. While the underlying biological processes are known to be influenced by the forest's spatial properties, we lack insights on how resource concentration, top-down control and fragmentation jointly affect sapling performance in fragmented landscapes. We therefore experimentally quantified effects of the proportion of conspecific trees in the overstorey (resource concentration), avian top-down control (natural enemies) and distance to the forest edge on invertebrate herbivory levels and sapling growth. The assessments were made on planted saplings of Fagus sylvatica, Quercus robur and Quercus rubra in 53 experimental plots and birds were excluded by means of exclosures from a subset of these saplings. Excluding avian top-down control increased herbivory on each tree species. Increased herbivory led to decreased sapling growth in F. sylvatica and Q. rubra. On Q. robur saplings, top-down control was stronger closer to the forest edge. Furthermore, in this species, herbivory inside the exclosures increased with an increasing proportion of conspecific trees in the overstorey, while such a resource concentration effect was not observed outside the exclosures. Our results show the importance for forest management of conserving insectivorous birds and promoting a mixed overstorey, which can decrease sapling herbivory when bird abundance is low. More generally, our study provides insight into the complex, multitrophic interactions that drive sapling growth in forest stands located within fragmented landscapes.
Keywords
Edge effects, Trophic cascades, Associational resistance, Enemies Hypothesis, Quercus robur, Fagus sylvatica, Quercus rubm, Resource Concentration Hypothesis, Tritrophic interactions, Insectivorous birds, TREE DIVERSITY, VEGETATIONAL DIVERSITY, PEDUNCULATE OAK, ENEMIES HYPOTHESIS, ECOSYSTEM FUNCTION, BIRD COMMUNITIES, PREDATION, BIODIVERSITY, RESISTANCE, INSECTS

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MLA
Dekeukeleire, Daan, et al. “Avian Top-down Control Affects Invertebrate Herbivory and Sapling Growth More Strongly than Overstorey Species Composition in Temperate Forest Fragments.” FOREST ECOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT, vol. 442, 2019, pp. 1–9.
APA
Dekeukeleire, D., van Schrojenstein Lantman, I., Hertzog, L., Vandegehuchte, M. L., Strubbe, D., Vantieghem, P., … Lens, L. (2019). Avian top-down control affects invertebrate herbivory and sapling growth more strongly than overstorey species composition in temperate forest fragments. FOREST ECOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT, 442, 1–9.
Chicago author-date
Dekeukeleire, Daan, Irene van Schrojenstein Lantman, Lionel Hertzog, Martijn L. Vandegehuchte, Diederik Strubbe, Pieter Vantieghem, An Martel, Kris Verheyen, Dries Bonte, and Luc Lens. 2019. “Avian Top-down Control Affects Invertebrate Herbivory and Sapling Growth More Strongly than Overstorey Species Composition in Temperate Forest Fragments.” FOREST ECOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT 442: 1–9.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Dekeukeleire, Daan, Irene van Schrojenstein Lantman, Lionel Hertzog, Martijn L. Vandegehuchte, Diederik Strubbe, Pieter Vantieghem, An Martel, Kris Verheyen, Dries Bonte, and Luc Lens. 2019. “Avian Top-down Control Affects Invertebrate Herbivory and Sapling Growth More Strongly than Overstorey Species Composition in Temperate Forest Fragments.” FOREST ECOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT 442: 1–9.
Vancouver
1.
Dekeukeleire D, van Schrojenstein Lantman I, Hertzog L, Vandegehuchte ML, Strubbe D, Vantieghem P, et al. Avian top-down control affects invertebrate herbivory and sapling growth more strongly than overstorey species composition in temperate forest fragments. FOREST ECOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT. 2019;442:1–9.
IEEE
[1]
D. Dekeukeleire et al., “Avian top-down control affects invertebrate herbivory and sapling growth more strongly than overstorey species composition in temperate forest fragments,” FOREST ECOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT, vol. 442, pp. 1–9, 2019.
@article{8610726,
  abstract     = {To better understand natural regeneration of trees and forest dynamics it is important to gain insight into the drivers of invertebrate herbivory. In mature forests, associational resistance of trees resulting from a high diversity of neighbouring trees is common, and can have cascading effects on tree growth through resource concentration effects or through changes in top-down control. While the underlying biological processes are known to be influenced by the forest's spatial properties, we lack insights on how resource concentration, top-down control and fragmentation jointly affect sapling performance in fragmented landscapes. We therefore experimentally quantified effects of the proportion of conspecific trees in the overstorey (resource concentration), avian top-down control (natural enemies) and distance to the forest edge on invertebrate herbivory levels and sapling growth. The assessments were made on planted saplings of Fagus sylvatica, Quercus robur and Quercus rubra in 53 experimental plots and birds were excluded by means of exclosures from a subset of these saplings. Excluding avian top-down control increased herbivory on each tree species. Increased herbivory led to decreased sapling growth in F. sylvatica and Q. rubra. On Q. robur saplings, top-down control was stronger closer to the forest edge. Furthermore, in this species, herbivory inside the exclosures increased with an increasing proportion of conspecific trees in the overstorey, while such a resource concentration effect was not observed outside the exclosures. Our results show the importance for forest management of conserving insectivorous birds and promoting a mixed overstorey, which can decrease sapling herbivory when bird abundance is low. More generally, our study provides insight into the complex, multitrophic interactions that drive sapling growth in forest stands located within fragmented landscapes.},
  author       = {Dekeukeleire, Daan and van Schrojenstein Lantman, Irene and Hertzog, Lionel and Vandegehuchte, Martijn L. and Strubbe, Diederik and Vantieghem, Pieter and Martel, An and Verheyen, Kris and Bonte, Dries and Lens, Luc},
  issn         = {0378-1127},
  journal      = {FOREST ECOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT},
  keywords     = {Edge effects,Trophic cascades,Associational resistance,Enemies Hypothesis,Quercus robur,Fagus sylvatica,Quercus rubm,Resource Concentration Hypothesis,Tritrophic interactions,Insectivorous birds,TREE DIVERSITY,VEGETATIONAL DIVERSITY,PEDUNCULATE OAK,ENEMIES HYPOTHESIS,ECOSYSTEM FUNCTION,BIRD COMMUNITIES,PREDATION,BIODIVERSITY,RESISTANCE,INSECTS},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {1--9},
  title        = {Avian top-down control affects invertebrate herbivory and sapling growth more strongly than overstorey species composition in temperate forest fragments},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2019.03.055},
  volume       = {442},
  year         = {2019},
}

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