In situ extinction of carabid beetles and community changes in a protected suburban forest during the past century: The "Bosco Farneto" near Trieste (Italy)

  • Brandmayr P
  • Pizzolotto R
  • Colombetta G
 et al. 
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Abstract

The carabid beetle species assemblages (14 sample sites) of a 238 ha urban oak forest in Trieste, Italy, studied in 1983-84 with pitfall traps, were compared with an historic list of 57 species hand collected by entomologists in the same forest before it was logged in 1944.Trap data have been improved by hand collections to get a species list as complete as the historic one. Multivariate analysis was used to group the sites (14 plus the historic list) into three assemblages of brooks, clearings and forests. After the Second World War logging, the secondary ecological succession resulted in a lower species number, with a trend to a new equilibrium. Some important forest specialists, such as Laemostenus venustus, have been lost. Human pressure and recolonisation by carabids are still occurring. The in situ extinction of ground beetles near the end of the last century reached values between 57 and 64% of the species historically recorded. Consequently, urgent restoration measures are required for waterside habitats, forest and land management, to maintain small open areas or clearings. The study of carabid species assemblages and habitat affinities seems a useful tool for adaptive management of forests affected by human activities, because changes in carabid species number and type can be easily related to human disturbance.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Biodiversity loss
  • Carabidae
  • Human disturbance
  • Land use change
  • Local extinction

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