Effect of forest clear cuts on plant–pollinator interactions: the case of three ericaceous subshrubs in Lithuanian pine forests

Remigijus Daubaras, Laima Cesoniene, Marcin Zych, Vytautas Tamutis, Vidas Stakėnas


Managed boreal pine forests are subject to regular clear cuts causing significant disturbances to these ecosystems. It is believed that, to some extent, they resemble natural cycles of forest growth, decline, and regeneration and can benefit, e.g., mutualistic relations among plants and pollinators. To study the impact of forest management (clear cuts) on pollinator visitation, we focused on three ericaceous plant species, Vaccinium myrtillus, V. vitis-idaea, and Calluna vulgaris, common elements of pine forest understory. Our observations, conducted in Lithuania, showed that there are no differences among control mature stands and clear cut areas in terms of visitation frequency for all three studied species. However, at least for C. vulgaris, a shift toward fly visits was observed in the clear cut site, showing that open areas are preferred habitats for these insects. Ants constituted an important share of visitors to flowers of V. myrtillus and C. vulgaris, suggesting their important role in reproduction of these plant species.


biodiversity; boreal forest; Calluna; Ericaceae; forest management; Pinus sylvestris; pollination; Vaccinium

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5586/aa.1707

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