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Revegetation and its Effect on the Ground-Dwelling Beetle Fauna of Matiu-Somes Island, New Zealand


Address correspondence to C. H. Watts, email


A study of beetle (Coleoptera) communities was conducted in three revegetated sites of different ages (5, 17, and 100 years) and in a remnant coastal habitat dominated by Muehlenbeckia complexa (a liane) on Matiu-Somes Island, Wellington Harbor, New Zealand. The 25-ha island has had a 110-year history as a pastoral agricultural quarantine station. Beetles were surveyed from May 1997 to April 1998 using pitfall traps. We collected a total of 3,430 adult beetles from 78 beetle species belonging to 22 families. Various environmental factors influencing the distribution of beetles in revegetated habitats were investigated. The most important factors were canopy height and canopy density (functions of vegetation age). Overall, results suggest that as habitat/vegetational heterogeneity increases at a site, beetle diversity and abundance also increase. Thus, older replanted sites contained a greater species richness and abundance of beetles than newly replanted sites. Revegetation is, thus, successfully facilitating the establishment and recolonization of the beetle fauna on Matiu-Somes Island.