Model of rate of succession of epigeic carabid beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) on degraded areas – Axel Schwerk

Axel Schwerk. Instytut Badawczy Leśnictwa, Sękocin Stary 2008, ISBN 978–83–87647–74–2. 72 pp. 16 EUR.

Degraded areas constitute challenging tasks with respect to sustainable management of natural resources. Of special importance seems to establish special successional stages. This book presents a model of the succession on five different types of degraded areas based on carabid fauna.

The run of succession differed clearly between the different types of degraded areas. Initial conditions (origin of soil and origin of vegetation) and landscape related aspects seem to be important with respect to these differences. However, in general the succession could be described by four different parameters: (1) ‘Initial degradation level’, (2) ‘delay’, (3) ‘increase rate’ and (4) ‘recovery level’. Using Mean Individual Biomass of Carabidae (MIB) as a numerical measure for the stage of succession, characteristic values for the parameters were identified for each of the five area types. Applying the model on independently elaborated data from a post-industrial area in Germany resulted in clear analogies to post-industrial areas examined in the study at hand.

The model is of practical use, because it provides with a possibility to compare the values of the parameters elaborated on different areas, to give for intervention and to make prognoses about future succession on the areas. Thought-out management of successional stages may help to fulfill today’s demands, e.g. with respect to the Convention on Biological Diversity and the UN Climate Change Convention.

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