Effects of Juniper heathland management on carabid beetles

 

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Juniper heathlands have their origin in extensive farming with sheep over hundreds of years. Socio-economic changes in the 19th and 20th century have led to large scale succession and disappearance of such ecosystems in Central Europe. These changes negatively affected many stenotopic species which are dependent on open, bare ground and high insolation levels. Those conditions are quite rare in modern landscapes and the associated species are now highly threatened. Active management with sheep grazing and removal of upper soil was started a couple of years ago to restore Juniper heathlands and its typical vegetation structure. We are interested in the effects of management on carabid beetle assemblages in terms of I) occurrence of typical heathland species, II) occurrence of endangered species. Five different heathlands in the mountain range of the Eifel (Germany) are sampled with pitfall traps in 2011 and 2012. Results will be used to evaluate effectiveness and efficiency of management activities. We cooperate with the „Stiftung Natur und Umwelt im Landkreis Mayen-Koblenz“.