Ground beetle assemblages in Beijing's new mountain forests

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  • Eleanor Warren-Thomas
    University College London
  • Yi Zou
    Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing
  • Lijia Dong
    Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing
  • Xuenan Yao
    Minzu University of China
  • Mengjie Yang
    Minzu University of China
  • Xiaoliang Zhang
    Minzu University of China
  • Ya Qin
    Minzu University of China
  • Yunhui Liu
    China Agricultural University, Beijing
  • Weiguo Sang
    Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing
  • Jan Christoph Axmacher
    University College London
Mature forests have been almost completely destroyed in China’s northern regions, but this has been followed by large-scale reforestation in the wake of environmental degradation. Although future forest plantations are expected to expand over millions of hectares, knowledge about the ecology and biodiversity of China’s replanted forests remains very limited. Addressing these knowledge gaps, we recorded ground beetle (Coleoptera: Carabidae) communities in five secondary forest types: plantations of Chinese Pine (Pinus tabulaeformis) and Prince Rupprecht’s Larch (Larix principis-rupprechtii), Oak (Quercus wutaishanica) and Asian White Birch (Betula platyphylla) woodlands, and naturally regenerated mixed forest. Species richness peaked in mixed forests, while pine and oak woodlands harboured discrete communities of intermediate species richness. Oak, pine and mixed forest habitats also showed high levels of species turnover between plots. Canopy closure was an important factor influencing ground beetle assemblages and diversity, and a number of forest specialist species only occurred in pine or oak forests. We believe that some forest specialists have survived earlier deforestation and appear to be supported by new plantation forests, but maintenance of secondary native oak and mixed forests is crucial to safeguard the overall species pool.


  • Carabidae, China, Plantation, Regeneration, Temperate forest
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-376
JournalForest Ecology and Management
Early online date7 Oct 2014
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2014
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