Hybrid poplar plantations have become an important component of forest and agricultural landscapes in alluvial floodplains since poplars are among the fastest-growing trees in temperate regions. However, these habitats are thought to decrease biodiversity, including ground beetle diversity, as compared to other traditional land-uses such as grasslands and semi-natural forests. To evaluate the impacts of poplar plantations on carabid diversity, we tested whether carabid assemblages are more affected by land-use type than by canopy cover type in three alluvial floodplains in North-Eastern France. We stratified our 63-plot sampling design according to four habitat types based on land-use and plantation age. Non-metric multidimensional scaling revealed a successional gradient in species composition related to canopy cover progressing from grasslands through young, then adult poplar plantations, to semi-natural forests. Species-level response models showed that many carabid species distinguished the open habitats (grasslands and young poplar plantations) from the closed ones (adult poplar plantations and semi-natural forests). Only a few species preferred one of the traditional land-uses such as grasslands or semi-natural forests. Based on our data, the deleterious effect of poplar plantations on the conservation of ground beetles may not be as high as expected.
- Hybrid poplar plantation
- Quasi-Poisson glm
- Species response
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nature and Landscape Conservation
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law