A total of 54 sites were sampled with pitfall traps in order to investigate the distribution of epigeal (soil-surface) beetle (Coleoptera) assemblages along the coast of north-east England. Classifications of ground, rove and phytophagous beetles showed that the species assemblages on saltmarsh sites differed considerably from those on dunes and slacks and had far fewer species. The variables affecting the distribution of assemblages were soil water and vegetation cover for ground and phytophagous beetles but only vegetation cover for rove beetles. It is likely that sea level rise on the east coast of England would change species-rich dune slack and low-lying farmland habitats into species-poor saltmarsh-type habitats, with a considerable change in species assemblage composition. This has implications for coastal site restoration.
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