Epiedaphic Ground Beetle (Carabidae) Diversity in Ecosystems Transformed by Plantations of Eucalyptus pellita in the Orinoco Region of Colombia

  • W García-SuabitaEmail author
  • J Pinzón
  • J R Spence
  • O P Pinzón Florián
Ecology, Behavior and Bionomics


Patterns of land use are changing dramatically in the Orinoco region of Colombia, including extensive commercial forestation of Pinus caribaea, Acacia mangium, and Eucalyptus pellita that are replacing savannas, with unknown consequences for biodiversity. We studied the effects of E. pellita plantations on the diversity of epiedaphic carabid beetles (Carabidae) sampled with pitfall traps at El Vita (Vichada) and Villanueva (Casanare). Furthermore, we assessed stand structure data (basal area, and canopy cover), and soil physical and chemical properties to explain differences in ground beetle composition using redundancy analysis (RDA). We compared diversity and species turnover using Hill numbers and Bray-Curtis dissimilarity, respectively. Low differences in richness were observed between savannas and plantations (at El Vita) and between pastures and plantations (at Villanueva). In general, carabid richness was significantly (not overlap in 95% confidence intervals) higher during the rainy season, and in young plantations than in other habitats. Variation in carabid species composition was mainly explained by a gradient of volumetric humidity, number of trees, basal area at El Vita and pH, nitrogen content of the soil, number of trees, soil clay content, and area of exposed ground at Villanueva. Thirteen carabid (which eight are commons in natural forests) species were identified as indicators of 3- and 14-year-old E. pellita plantations and pastures. Results suggest a strong response of ground beetles (Carabidae) to changes in land use, seasonality, and plantation age. Further research is needed to better understand how landscape heterogeneity, and distance to contiguous of natural habitats, influences biodiversity.


Land use change forest plantations afforestation introduced forest species Hill numbers Vita River 



The authors are grateful to the Plantaciones Amazonia El Vita S.A.S. and REFOCOSTA S.A.S. forest companies for allowing and supporting the sampling at their facilities as well as for providing logistic support. Many thanks to Alejandra Beltran, Adriana Ramos, Florian Kleinschoft, and John Diaz for their help with the field work component of this study. Thanks to Monica Sarmiento, Javier Medina, Dexter Dombro, and Gabriela Huidobro who provided logistic support, technical advice, and also participated in the field work. We also thank Edgar Camero, Miguel Cadena, and Alejandro Lopera for reviewing the early versions of the manuscript.

Author Contribution

Olga P. Pinzón Florián and Walter Garcia-Suabita designed and executed the experimental work; Walter Garcia-Suabita, Jaime Pinzon, and John. R Spence conducted the data analyses; Walter Garcia-Suabita, John. R Spence, Jaime Pinzon, and Olga P. Pinzón Florián wrote the manuscript.

Funding Information

Funding for this project and for WG was provided by Contract 415 2013-Colciencias - Universidad Distrital Francisco Jose de Caldas.

Supplementary material

13744_2019_700_MOESM1_ESM.docx (15 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 14 kb)
13744_2019_700_MOESM2_ESM.docx (15 kb)
ESM 2 (DOCX 15 kb)


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Copyright information

© Sociedade Entomológica do Brasil 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • W García-Suabita
    • 1
    Email author
  • J Pinzón
    • 2
  • J R Spence
    • 3
  • O P Pinzón Florián
    • 1
  1. 1.Univ Distrital Francisco José de CaldasBogotáColombia
  2. 2.Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest ServiceNorthern Forestry CentreEdmontonCanada
  3. 3.Dept of Renewable Resources, 751 General Services BuildingUniv of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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