Journal of Insect Conservation

, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 223–231 | Cite as

Beetles (Coleoptera) on brownfield sites in England: An important conservation resource?

  • M.D. EyreEmail author
  • M.L. Luff
  • J.C. Woodward


A total of 78 brownfield (post-industrial and urban) sites were surveyed for beetles between 1991 and 2001 throughout England using pitfall traps. The distribution of ground, rove and phytophagous beetle assemblages was investigated using ordination and classification analyses. Site drainage and vegetation cover had a profound effect on the distribution of ground and rove beetle assemblages but site location was also important for phytophagous beetle assemblages. A total of 182 records of 46 nationally rare and scarce species (16 ground, 10 rove and 20 phytophagous species) were generated. A number of these species are more usually associated with other, more ‘natural’ habitats such as riverine sediments, sandy heaths and chalk grassland. Brownfield sites provide habitat conditions similar to more natural habitats and they may help maintain populations of some rare and scarce species. The results indicate that brownfield sites are important habitats for beetles and there is evidence that the situation is similar for other invertebrate groups. There should be no further assumptions that post-industrial and urban sites have no conservation interest.

Brownfield sites Ground beetles Invertebrate conservation Phytophagous beetles Rove beetles 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Life Sciences ModellingSchool of Biology, The UniversityNewcastle upon TyneUK
  2. 2.Entomological Monitoring Services (EMS)Newcastle upon Tyne(e-mail

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