Eur. J. Entomol. 111 (5): 686-691, 2014 | 10.14411/eje.2014.091

Edge effects on ground-dwelling beetles (Carabidae and Staphylinidae) in oak forest-forest edge-grassland habitats in Hungary

Béla TÓTHMÉRÉSZ1, Dávid D. NAGY1, Szabolcs MIZSER1, Dávid BOGYÓ2, Tibor MAGURA2
1 MTA-DE Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Research Group, University of Debrecen, P.O. Box 71, Debrecen H-4010, Hungary; e-mails: tothmerb@gmail.com; david.nagy111@gmail.com; mizserszabolcs@gmail.com
2 Department of Ecology, University of Debrecen, P.O. Box 71, Debrecen H-4010, Hungary; e-mails: davidbogyo@yahoo.co.uk; maguratibor@gmail.com

Forest edges are essential to the maintenance of biodiversity at the landscape level. According to the edge effect hypothesis, diversity is higher in an edge than in adjacent areas. We tested the edge effect hypothesis for carabids and staphylinids in an oak forest-forest edge-grassland complex in the Hajdúság Landscape Protection Area (Hungary). The habitat types were as follows: (1) a closed oak forest with shrubs and herbaceous plants, (2) a forest edge with extensive ground vegetation and shrub cover and (3) grassland with dense herbaceous vegetation. We collected data from 60 pitfall traps (2 spatial replicates × 3 habitats × 10 traps). The GLM results showed that the species richness of carabids was higher at the edge of the forest than in the grassland and forest interior; the number of carabid individuals was highest in the grassland. The number of staphylinids and their species richness were significantly lower in the grassland than in the forest edge and interior. The results of principal coordinates analysis showed that the assemblages of both taxa in the forest edge and interior were separated from the assemblage in the grassland area. There were significant characteristic species for the edge habitat, as revealed by the IndVal (indicator species analysis) method. Our findings suggest that forest edges play a vital role in the maintenance of the diversity of carabid and staphylinid assemblages.

Keywords: Coleoptera, Carabidae, Staphylinidae, edge-associated species, diversity, forest edge, ground beetles, indicator species, rove beetles

Received: December 31, 2013; Accepted: October 28, 2014; Prepublished online: November 7, 2014; Published: December 10, 2014

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