Dynamic responses of ground-dwelling invertebrate communities to disturbance in forest ecosystems.
In forest ecosystems, natural and anthropogenic disturbances alter canopy structure, understory vegetation, amount of woody debris, and the properties of litter and soil layers. The magnitude of these environmental changes is context-dependent and determined by the properties of the disturbance, such as the frequency, intensity, duration, and extent. Therefore, disturbances can dynamically impact forest communities over time, including populations of ground-dwelling invertebrates that regulate key ecosystem processes. We propose conceptual models that describe the dynamic temporal effects of canopy gap formation and coarse woody debris accumulation following disturbances caused by invasive insects, wind, and salvage logging, and their impacts on ground-dwelling invertebrate communities. Within this framework, predictions are generated, literature on ground-dwelling invertebrate communities is synthesized, and pertinent knowledge gaps identified.