Edge effect on carabids in an Oak-Hornbeam Forest at the Aggtelek National Park (Hungary)

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We have tested the edge effect hypothesis along a transect for carabid assemblages (Coleoptera: Carabidae) in a Quero-Carpinetum forest using pitfall traps, in a hilly region of Northern Hungary at the Aggtelek National Park. The transect can be divided into four sections. A forest without shrubs and herbaceuos vegetation, a forest with moderate ground layer vegetation and two types of edges: a forest edge similar to the forest interior but increased cover of ground vegetation and shrubs, and shrubby edge without canopy trees. The dominance structures of the assemblages of forest habitats were similar, while the edges' assemblages were more species rich. We have demonstrated by multidimensional scaling that the species composition of the shrubby edge was different from the other assemblages and the seasonal dynamics of the assemblage was also strikingly different. Diversity increased along the transect, and it was the highest in the shrubby edge. The number of trapped individuals was relatively stable in the forest with a slight increment towards the forest edge; however, it was much lower in the shrubby edge that in the forest or in the forest edge. Scale-dependent diversity profiles of the forest habitats were similar, while the shrubby edge was significantly more diverse. Six of 24 species were present exclusively in the edges. Our result suggests that edges may have a crucial role in the maintenance of the diversity of carabid assemblages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-387
Number of pages9
JournalActa Phytopathologica et Entomologica Hungarica
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science
  • Insect Science

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