Eur. J. Entomol. 107 (4): 553-561, 2010 | 10.14411/eje.2010.064
Carabid beetle assemblages associated with urban golf courses in the greater Helsinki area
- Urban Ecology Research Group, Department of Environmental Sciences, PO Box 65, FI-00014, University of Helsinki, Finland;
Golf is a popular sport, with increasingly large areas of urban and peri-urban land being designated for golf course development. Yet, more than half of the land area of a typical golf course is considered rough and out-of-play areas that can, if managed appropriately, provide habitats for wildlife. Using pitfall traps, 6944 carabid beetles belonging to 72 species were collected from five urban golf courses and three areas designated for golf course development around the city of Helsinki, Finland in 2007. The courses were rich in carabid species and distinct in their species assemblages. Golf courses were dominated by habitat generalists, species capable of flight and medium to large-sized species. The three courses with areas designated for further golf course development showed that the assemblages of beetles associated with these golf courses have retained many elements from the pre-existing habitats. The oldest golf course is characterised by a more evenly distributed and diverse carabid beetle assemblage, probably due to its higher habitat heterogeneity and longer successional development. However, even this golf course is dominated by generalist species, implying that golf courses may not provide suitable habitats for specialists. It is assumed that the high species richness of golf courses is attributed to the high habitat diversity of these environments, ranging from the strongly human-modified to more natural patches, which provide habitats for many generalist and open-habitat species. Golf courses may, however, with the appropriate management of out-of-play areas provide an opportunity for conserving biodiversity.
Keywords: Carabidae, ground beetles, anthropogenic habitats, conservation, species assemblage, biodiversity, Helsinki area
Received: November 27, 2009; Accepted: March 29, 2010; Published: October 20, 2010
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