Carabid beetles play an important role as consumers of pest organisms in forestry and agriculture. Application of pesticides may negatively affect abundance and activity of carabid beetles, thus reducing their potential beneficial effect. We investigated how abundance and diversity of pitfall trapped carabid beetles (Coleoptera, Carabidae) varied between conventionally and organically managed Caucasian Fir (Abies nordmanniana (Stev.)) plantations, in northern Zealand, Denmark. We recorded significantly higher numbers of carabid beetle specimens and species at conventionally than at organically managed sites. Carabid beetle abundance and richness did not decline more between two sampling periods at sites with pesticide application than at unamended sites. Apparently, the amount of bare ground, which dominated in the conventionally managed, herbicide treated sites, correlated closely with the number of recorded carabid beetle specimens. Thus we attribute the higher catch at the conventionally managed sites to a higher activity at bare ground due to lack of food and a larger potential for invasion at the bare ground sites of opportunistic species from surrounding arable areas.
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Vol. 47 • No. 2