Understanding the causes underlying changes in species diversity is a fundamental pursuit of ecology. Animal species richness and composition often change with decreased forest structural complexity associated with logging. Yet differences in latitude and forest type may strongly influence how species diversity responds to logging. We performed a meta-analysis of logging effects on local species richness and composition of birds across the world and assessed responses by different guilds (nesting strata, foraging strata, diet, and body size). This approach allowed identification of species attributes that might underlie responses to this anthropogenic disturbance. We only examined studies that allowed forests to regrow naturally following logging, and accounted for logging intensity, spatial extent, successional regrowth after logging, and the change in species composition expected due to random assembly from regional species pools. Selective logging in the tropics and clearcut logging in temperate latitudes caused loss of species from nearly all forest strata (ground to canopy), leading to substantial declines in species richness (up to 27% of species). Few species were lost or gained following any intensity of logging in lower-latitude temperate forests, but the relative abundances of these species changed substantially. Selective logging at higher-temperate latitudes generally replaced late-successional specialists with early-successional specialists, leading to no net changes in species richness but large changes in species composition. Removing less basal area during logging mitigated the loss of avian species from all forests and, in some cases, increased diversity in temperate forests. This meta-analysis provides insights into the important role of habitat specialization in determining differential responses of animal communities to logging across tropical and temperate latitudes.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Logging impacts on avian species richness and composition differ across latitudes relative to foraging and breeding habitat preferences|
|Series title||Biological Reviews|
|Contributing office(s)||Coop Res Unit Seattle|