Leaf litter and the small‐scale distribution of carabid beetles (Coleoptera, Carabidae) in the boreal forest
The litter addition affected the carabid‐assemblage structure by increasing the catches of some species and decreasing the catch of one species. The number of carabid species was similar in control and litter plots. The litter effect was smaller than variation among forest stands and year‐lo‐year fluctuations. There was a strong temporal constancy among the plots: ‘rich’ plots remained ‘rich’ from year to year and similarly, ‘poor’ plots remained ‘poor’.
The significant influence of leaf litter on carabid abundance can be attributable to both abiotic factors (microenvironmental conditions, especially humidity and temperature), and biotic ones (changes in niche structure, improved food supply). Leal litter seems to have an effect on carabid distribution patterns, and deciduous trees scattered among conifers are likely to be of importance on carabid fauna in boreal forests.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: ) and J. Niemelä, Dept of Ecology and Systematics, Div. of Population Biology, P.O.B. 17, FIN-00014 Univ. of Helsinki, Finland. – P. Punttila, Finnish Environment Inst., Nature and Land Use Division., P.O.B. 140, FIN-00251 Helsinki, Finland. – Y. Haila, Dept of Regional Studies and Environmental Policy, Univ. of Tampere. P.O.B. 607, FIN-33101 Tampere. Finland.
Publication date: August 1, 1999