The distribution of carabid beetles in two xerophytic native shrub species was studied by pitfall trapping during four years, in a semi-arid zone of Algeria. A total of 51 beetle species were recorded; 38 and 23 species were encountered in the Atriplex halimus and the Artemisia herba alba L. shrub habitats, respectively. Differences were found in the beetle species richness and abundance among the sampled shrubs and the years of study. The data of the species traits as habitat affinity, food preference and flying ability show that xerophilic, carnivorous and macropterous species dominate in both shrub habitats. In the Atriplex halimus habitat, which has a dense vegetation cover and high humidity conditions, granivorous and hygrophilous species were more numerous. Analysis revealed a significant correlation between beetle abundance and inter-annual rainfall change and a low affinity between the species assemblages of both shrub habitats. Our results suggest that shrub size and species identity play an important role in structuring ground beetle communities.
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Vol. 28 • No. 1