Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (845 K bytes)

Title: The impact of pinyon mortality on ground-dwelling arthropod communities

Author: Delph, Robert J.;

Date: 2008

Source: Flagstaff, AZ: Northern Arizona University. 56 p. Thesis

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: We documented the indirect impact of drought-induced mortality of pinyon pine (Pinus edulis) on ground-dwelling arthropod communities. Tree mortality alters microhabitats utilized by ground-dwelling arthropods through increased solar radiation, dead woody debris, and understory vegetation. Our major objectives were to determine if there were differences in species composition, richness and abundance of ground dwelling-arthropods associated with environments experiencing high or low pinyon mortality and whether specific microhabitats could account for differences. We predicted significant impacts on arthropod community dynamics due to the increased complexity of micro-habitats from both standing and fallen trees. Despite only moderate increases in the amount of area that experienced new microhabitats, there were significant differences in arthropod community composition between high and low pinyon mortality environments. Overall, 22% (51 taxa) of the arthropod community were identified as being indicators of high or low pinyon mortality. Thus, our study supported the notion that arthropods are responsive to disturbance events that lead to even moderate changes in the environment. However, areas of high tree mortality also contained lower tree densities, allowing for the possibility that intrinsic differences in woodlands that vary in susceptibility to drought-induced mortality plays a significant role in structuring ground-dwelling arthropod communities.

Keywords: pinyon mortality, arthropod communities, pinyon pine, Pinus edulis

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
  • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication. (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)



Delph, Robert J. 2008. The impact of pinyon mortality on ground-dwelling arthropod communities. Flagstaff, AZ: Northern Arizona University. 56 p. Thesis


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.