Habitat associations of riparian beetles (Coleoptera) at Big Beaver Creek Research Natural Area, North Cascades National Park, Washington Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/2514nq116

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  • Beetle diversity and habitat associations of five prevalent riparian plant communities were examined along the lower reaches of Big Beaver Creek Research Natural Area, North Cascades National Park, Washington. These communities were defined by dominant tree species, and included Alder Swamps, Cedar-Hemlock Forests, Douglas-fir Forests, Gravel Bars, and Willow-Sedge Swamps. Monthly samples were taken with pitfall traps from 10 randomly selected patches per habitat during the snow-free periods (mid-June through mid-October) of 1995 and 1996. A total of 8,179 non-necrophagous beetles was collected, comprising 4 families and 290 species. Four families - Staphylinidae (43%), Carabidae (31%), Elateridae (12%), and Anthicidae (6%) accounted for 92% of all individuals. Four families encompassed 65% of all species Staphylinidae (31%), Carabidae (19%), Elateridae (8%), arid Leiodidae (7%) A few species accounted for the majority of individuals. Almost 51% of individuals were found among just 20 species. The five most abundant species in each habitat accounted for 33% (Alder Swamps) to 71% (Gravel Bars) of individuals. Beetle abundance and species composition differed among habitats. Abundance ranged from 1,530 (Cedar-Hemlock Forests) to 2,071 (Alder Swamps) . Abundance per trap per month varied from 16 (Willow-sedge Swamps) to 27 (Alder Swamps). Species richness was lowest in Douglas-fir Forests (76) and highest in Alder Swamps (119) Simpson's 1-D index ranged from 0.74 (Douglas-fir Forests) to 0.96 (Alder Swamps). Species were categorized as detritivores, fungivores, herbivores, omnivores, predators, and unknowns. Individuals and species of predators and fungivores were generally numerically dominant. Herbivores and omnivores contributed few species and individuals. Gravel Bars virtually lacked fungivores and were the only community with many (more than 30%) detrivorous individuals. Two patterns of seasonal abundance were evident. Abundance was highest in June in the two open habitats, Gravel Bars and Willow-Sedge Swamps, thereafter sharply and continuously declining into October. Abundance peaked during September in the forested habitats. Baseline data was acquired about the North Cascades National Park beetle faunas, furthering Park goals to perpetuate habitat and community assemblage integrity. In a larger context, this information has also enriched the understanding of the arthropod faunas of the Pacific Northwest.
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