May ecosystem sustainability be influenced by carnivorous carabid beetles –inhabitants of ground surface?


Abstract: Carabid beetles of many species are very active and abundant predators. Analysis oftheir intestinal content shows that they can eat arthropods inhabiting the grass layer (hortobionts).There are many important pests among hortobionts. However the carnivorous carabid beetlesusually hunt at the soil surface and it is not clear how these beetles can reach inhabitants at grasslevel. Analysis of special literature has shown that hortobiont pests only seldomly go down.Likewise the inhabitants of ground level (herpetobionts) are not usually able to climb the grass.With the help of plastic open containers put on the soil surface between grass stems we havefound that about 200-300 specimens of hortobiont arthropods fall down onto 1m² of the soilsurface per day. Such arthropods may serve as a food for carnivorous beetles – herpetobionts.Influence of these predators on ecosystem sustainability is questionable.

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