iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Saproxylic beetles in non-intervention and coppice-with-standards restoration management in Meerdaal forest (Belgium): an exploratory analysis

Kris Vandekerkhove (1)   , Arno Thomaes (1), Luc Crèvecoeur (2), Luc De Keersmaeker (1), Anja Leyman (1), Frank Köhler (3)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 9, Issue 4, Pages 536-545 (2016)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor1841-009
Published: Mar 25, 2016 - Copyright © 2016 SISEF

Research Articles

Collection/Special Issue: IUFRO division 8.02 - Mendel University Brno (Czech Republic) 2015
Coppice forests: past, present and future
Guest Editors: Tomas Vrska, Renzo Motta, Alex Mosseler

For many centuries, coppice-with-standards management was applied in the mixed oak stands of Meerdaal forest (Belgium). Over the last century, these stands were gradually converted to high forest. On an area of 20 ha, the coppice-with-standards management is being restored, with specific adaptations for biodiversity (conservation of dead wood and veteran trees). A survey of saproxylic beetles was performed at 8 locations in the forest, including one site within the coppice-with-standards restoration. This survey not only allowed an evaluation of the saproxylic beetle richness of the forest complex, but also made exploratory observations on the effect of this type of management, as compared to non-intervention, on species richness and composition of saproxylic beetles. The results show that the overall species richness in the forest complex was quite high and comparable to forest reserves in Germany. Both coppice-with-standards and high forest options appear to be equally species-rich, but consist of different communities, both containing specific, rare and notable species, with more thermophilous and light-demanding species in the coppice-with-standards plot. Based on these observations we suggest that a diversified management approach may be the most suitable to conserve and enhance diverse saproxylic beetle communities in formerly intensively managed semi-natural woodlands. This could include areas of active conservation management aimed at producing open-canopy stands with considerable amounts of sun-exposed deadwood, combined with areas of non-intervention in a matrix of multifunctional forests, where conservation of dead wood and veteran trees is fully incorporated in the management.


Coppice-with-standards, Saproxylic Beetles, Insect Biodiversity, Type of Management, Active Conservation Management

Authors’ address

Kris Vandekerkhove
Arno Thomaes
Luc De Keersmaeker
Anja Leyman
Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO). Gaverstraat 4, 9500 Geraardsbergen (Belgium)
Luc Crèvecoeur
Provinciaal Natuurcentrum, Craenevenne 86, 3600 Genk (Belgium)
Frank Köhler
Koleopterologisches Forschungsbüro, Strombergstraße 22a, 53332 Bornheim (Germany)

Corresponding author

Kris Vandekerkhove


Vandekerkhove K, Thomaes A, Crèvecoeur L, De Keersmaeker L, Leyman A, Köhler F (2016). Saproxylic beetles in non-intervention and coppice-with-standards restoration management in Meerdaal forest (Belgium): an exploratory analysis. iForest 9: 536-545. - doi: 10.3832/ifor1841-009

Academic Editor

Tomas Vrska

Paper history

Received: Aug 31, 2015
Accepted: Feb 11, 2016

First online: Mar 25, 2016
Publication Date: Aug 09, 2016
Publication Time: 1.43 months

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