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ŠUMARSKI LIST 9-10/2010 str. 46     <-- 46 -->        PDF

L. Šerić Jelaska,A. Ješovnik, S. D. Jelaska,A. Pirnat, M. Kučinić, P. Durbešić: VARIATIONS OF CARABID ... Šumarski list br. 9–10, CXXXIV (2010), 475-486

elevations and lower temperatures andC. irregularisare
distributed on top of the mountain with a small number
of individuals on the northern plots. Geomorphologic
and climatic conditions, large habitat complexity and
very low disturbances in plot 1, contribute in forming
more stable carabid and ant communities. Community
composition can be used to indicate broader aspects of
habitat quality and more general changes (i.e. degradation
and recovery following stress or disturbances),
(Hodkinson andJackson 2005). High abundance
of carabids but low richness at the warmer plots could
suggest competitive exclusion confirming that habitat
stability may have unimodal effect on richness. The intermediate
disturbance hypothesis predicts that diversity
will be greatest when physical disturbances prevent
competitively dominant species from excluding other
species from the community.At the low level of disturbances,
diversity is low because only the best competitors
persist and competitive exclusion leads to species
loss at either end of the disturbance continuum (Death
andWinterbourn 1995).Stephens andWagner
(2006) found that different ant functional groups were
dominant under different levels of disturbance intensity.

Data about species richness and habitat complexity
within undisturbed forest systems with low direct anthropogenic
impacts can be used as reference data for environmental
monitoring of changes in temperate forests.
Knowledge on how management of forests relates to forest
carabids and ants diversity is poorly documented in
Croatia.Wefound that ant functional groups and carabids
body size analyses respond well to differences in
habitat complexity.These results confirm the need for
sustainable forest management that will preserve higher
level of habitat complexity that provide more niches and
environmental resources for exploitation and thus support
dominance of larger carabids and high animal biomass.
Furthermore, carabids and ants may serve as
target groups in climate change risks assesment in
mountain ecosystems.

Grateful thanks to Gregor Bračko for helping us in tian Ministry of Science, Education and Sports (Grants
species determination.This study was financed by Croa-0119-123, 119-1193080-1206 and 119-0000000-3169).

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