Changes in carabid beetle assemblages across an urban-rural gradient in Japan


  • M. Ishitani,

  • D. J. Kotze,

  • J. Niemelä

M. Ishitani (, Environmental Technology and Biological Research Div., Towa Kagaku Co., 6-5 Funairi-machi, Naka-ku, Hiroshima City, 730-0841 Japan. – D. J. Kotze and J. Niemelä, Dept of Ecology and Systematics, Div. of Population Biology, P. O. Box 65 (Viikinkaari 1), FIN-00014 Univ. of Helsinki, Finland.


As part of the international Globenet project, carabid beetles (Coleoptera, Carabidae) were collected using pitfall traps from four urban, four suburban and four rural sites in Hiroshima City, Japan, during the 2001 summer season. In agreement with expectation, carabid abundance and species richness decreased significantly from rural to urban sites. Furthermore, no large, and only few individuals of medium-sized specialist species were collected from the urban environment, while many specimens of medium-sized and some large-sized specialist species were collected from the suburban and rural sites. Hiroshima city was characterised by medium-sized generalist carabids, while the suburbs and the rural environments were characterised by small-sized generalist beetles. These results did not apply at the species level. To summarise, we found a significant effect of urbanisation on the composition of carabid beetle assemblages in Hiroshima City. These changes were similar to those found in previous studies performed in Sofia (Bulgaria), Edmonton (Canada) and Helsinki (Finland). Thus, it appears that urbanisation has some similar and predictable effects on carabid assemblages in various parts of the world.