Density, distribution and dispersal of the carabid beetle Nebria brevicollis in two adjacent cereal fields

  • García A
  • Griffiths G
  • George Thomas C
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Abstract

The distribution of the carabid beetle Nebria brevicollis was monitored in the summer during a period of declining activity associated with aestivation in a hedgerow. After emergence from aestivation, population density, distribution and dispersal of N. brevicollis were studied during autumn 1994 in a mark-recapture experiment. 3560 beetles were marked and 1887 were recaptured in a grid of pitfall traps spanning a hedgerow and extending approximately 32 m either side into two recently harvested cereal fields. Population size, estimated from a Lincoln index, increased slightly with time with a mean population density of approximately 0.9 beetles m-2. Activity-density varied during the experiment and was significantly related to maximum temperature. The population was aggregated within the hedgerow during aestivation and in several spatially stable hot-spots of activity-density within the field during autumn. There was considerable movement within fields but the hedgerow was a significant barrier to dispersal between fields, with potential effects on the metapopulation structure of the species.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Aggregation
  • Aphid predator
  • Field margin
  • Hedgerow
  • Integrated crop management
  • Population density

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Authors

  • Avelina Fernández García

  • Georgianne J.K. Griffiths

  • C. F. George Thomas

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