Canadian Forest Service Publications

Evaluation of carabid beetles as indicators of forest change in Canada. 2008. Work, T.T.; Kolvula, M.; Klimaszewski, J.; Langor, D.W.; Spence, J.R.; Sweeney, J.D.; Hébert, C. Canadian Entomologist 140(4): 393-414.

Year: 2008

Issued by: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 28875

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

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Our objective was to assess the potential of carabid beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) as effective bioindicators of the effects of forest management at a Canadian national scale. We present a comparison of carabid beetle assemblages reported from large-scale studies across Canada. Based on the initial response following disturbance treatment, we found that carabid assemblages consistently responded to disturbance, but responses of individual species and changes in species composition were nested within the context of regional geography and finer scale differences among forest ecosystems. We also explored the relationship between rare and dominant taxa and species characteristics as they relate to dispersal capacity and use of within-stand habitat features such as coarse woody debris. We found no relationship between life-history characteristics (such as body size, wing morphology, or reported associations with downed wood) and the relative abundance or frequency of occurrence of species. Our results suggest that carabids are better suited to finer scale evaluations of the effects of forest management than to regional or national monitoring programs. We also discuss several knowledge gaps that currently limit the full potential of using carabids as bioindicators.