Eur. J. Entomol. 111 (1): 35-49, 2014 | DOI: 10.14411/eje.2014.005

Modelling the effects of global warming on the ground beetle (Coleoptera: Carabidae) fauna of beech forests in Bavaria, Germany

Stefan MÜLLER-KROEHLING1, Matthias C. JANTSCH2, Hagen S. FISCHER2, Anton FISCHER2
1 LWF, Unit Biodiversity, Nature Conservation, Game Management, Hans-Carl-von-Carlowitz-Platz 1, 85354 Freising, Germany; e-mail: Stefan.Mueller-Kroehling@lwf.bayern.de
2 Geobotany, Department of Ecology and Ecosystem Management, Technische Universität München, Hans-Carl-von-Carlowitz-Platz 2, 85354 Freising, Germany; e-mails: Matthias.Jantsch@wzw.tum.de; HFischer@wzw.tum.de; Anton.Fischer@wzw.tum.de

We studied the effects of global warming and rising temperatures on the ground beetle fauna of Bavarian beech forests using the space for time approach at two geographical scales. The first was a Bavarian-wide gradient of 50 plots in beech forests and the second a regional gradient in the Bavarian Forest in the mountains in eastern Bavaria consisting of 48 plots, which also included subalpine spruce forests. For purposes of validation, we used backdrop data from 413 additional plots all across Bavaria from a wide range of forest habitats. We found five species that would be favoured and six species that would be disadvantaged by rising temperatures in beech forests. For another five species the conditions within the gradient studied reach both their minimum and their maximum temperatures. As a consequence of increasing temperatures there will be winners and losers in these forests and the species composition of ground beetle communities will change. Approximately the same number of species is likely to profit as will be affected negatively. However, when considering the "global responsibility species" for Germany, the balance is negative. Species may react differently in different habitats and at different regional scales, which must be taken into consideration when applying the results.

Keywords: Coleoptera, Carabidae, climate change, global warming, beech forests (Fagetalia), Bavaria, ground beetles, habitat modelling, temperature increase, biodiversity

Received: March 22, 2013; Accepted: October 14, 2013; Published: January 9, 2014

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