Preliminary results of studies on ground beetle communities inhabiting semi-arid environments in eastern Algeria are reported. In total, 49 taxa have been collected in a cultivated area and in a natural steppe area. The undisturbed area shows higher species diversity, a slightly higher Shannon index, lower species turnover in two consecutive years, a lower percentage of opportunistic mixophytophagous species, more specialized or generalistic predators and several indicators of higher water content of the soil. In the cultivated area there are more psammophilic elements, lower individual density and population phenology which reflects marked summer aridity, whereas in the natural area summer activity of the beetles may occur. The characteristics of these eastern Algerian open land communities are discussed and compared with some European and African studies.
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Vol. 20 • No. 1