Litter-dwelling ground beetle (Coleoptera: Carabidae) assemblages were monitored 1 yr after the construction of a corridor for installation of an oil pipeline along a xeric ridge-top forest in southeastern Ohio. After the creation of the corridor, three distinct habitats were evident in these sites: open corridor, ecotone areas around the corridor, and undisturbed forest interior. Carabidae were collected using directional pitfall traps that were placed parallel and perpendicular to the corridor in each of the three habitats. Results indicate that more carabids were present in the ecotone than in the other two habitats. Carabid diversity as estimated by rarefaction was highest in the corridor followed by ecotone and forest interior. Generalist and forest specialists such as Synuchus impunctatus (Say), Carabus goryi Dejean, and Pterostichus trinarius (Casey) were present in greater numbers in the forest interior and ecotone assemblages. In contrast, open-habitat specialists such as Harpalus pensylvanicus (DeGeer) and Selenophorus opalinus (LeConte) were present in greater numbers in the corridor assemblages. Carabid assemblages of the corridor were distinct from those of the ecotone and forest interior, whereas the latter two habitats had very similar assemblages. The successional pathway of the corridor carabid assemblage will therefore be likely different from that of the forest interior and ecotone. Overall, results indicate that construction of the oil pipeline corridor had significant short-term effects on the carabid numbers, diversity, and species composition because of ensuing habitat changes and fragmentation of the forest.
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