Article

Landscape Ecology

, Volume 17, Issue 5, pp 387-401

First online:

Carabid beetle assemblages (Coleoptera, Carabidae) across urban-rural gradients: an international comparison

  • Jari NiemeläAffiliated withDepartment of Ecology and Systematics, Division of Population Biology, University of Helsinki
  • , D. Johan KotzeAffiliated withDepartment of Ecology and Systematics, Division of Population Biology, University of Helsinki
  • , Stephen VennAffiliated withDepartment of Ecology and Systematics, Division of Population Biology, University of Helsinki
  • , Lyubomir PenevAffiliated withCentral Laboratory for General Ecology
  • , Ivailo StoyanovAffiliated withCentral Laboratory for General Ecology
  • , John SpenceAffiliated withDepartment of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta
  • , Dustin HartleyAffiliated withDepartment of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta
  • , Enrique Montes de OcaAffiliated withDepartment of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta

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Abstract

We studied communities of carabid beetles in residual forest patchesalong urban-suburban-rural gradients in three cities (Helsinki, Finland; Sofia,Bulgaria and Edmonton, Canada) to examine their responses to urbanisation. OnlyFinnish carabids showed a marked division of community structure along thegradient. In Bulgaria and Canada, carabids did not separate into distincturban,suburban and rural communities. Our results provide some support for thepredictions that species richness will decrease, that opportunistic specieswillgain dominance, and that small-sized species will become more numerous underdisturbance such as that provided by urbanisation. The rather weak and variedresponse of carabids to this disturbance suggests that local factors and theirinteraction are of primary importance for community composition. Occurrence ofreasonably similar carabid communities across the gradient at each of the threelevels of urbanisation suggests that habitat changes commonly associated withurbanisation have not affected the ecological integrity of carabid assemblagesin residual urban forest patches.

Bulgaria Canada Carabidae Finland Urban-rural gradients Urbanisation