The high altitude mountain slopes of the Dolomites (Italian Alps) are characterized by great habitat and landform heterogeneities. In this paper, we investigated the effect of Nature 2000 habitat and landform types in driving the high altitude ground beetle (Carabidae) distribution in the Western Dolomites (Brenta group, Italy). We studied the carabid assemblages collected in 55 sampling points distributed in four Nature 2000 habitat types and four landform types located between 1860 and 2890 m above sea level (a.s.l.). Twenty-two species, half of them Alpine endemics, were sampled. Species richness and taxonomic distinctness did not show any significant difference among habitat types; conversely, these differences became significant when the landform type was considered. Total activity density and the frequency of brachypterous, endemic and predatory species showed significant differences between both habitat and landform types. Indicator species analysis identified twelve species linked to a specific habitat type and thirteen species linked to a specific landform type. Canonical correspondence analysis showed that altitude and vegetation cover drove the species distribution in each habitat and landform type while the aspect had a weak effect. Our results highlight the need for a geomorphological characterization of the sampling points when high altitude ground-dwelling arthropods are investigated.
Habitat and landform types drive the distribution of carabid beetles at high altitudes / Gobbi, M.; Armanini, M.; Boscolo, T.; Chirichella, R.; Lencioni, V.; Ornaghi, S.; Mustoni, A.. - In: DIVERSITY. - ISSN 1424-2818. - 13:4(2021), p. 142. [10.3390/d13040142]