Sampling indigenous ground-living beetles in a stand of non-native tree privet (Ligustrum lucidum) in New Zealand raises new management questions



Small urban forest reserves in New Zealand have been shown to have value in conserving indigenous beetle diversity. However there is little information available on the ability of non-native vegetation areas such as tree privet to support indigenous beetle assemblages. To investigate this for one site, ground-living beetles were collected using pitfall traps over a year at a small urban forest of the invasive tree Ligustrum lucidum (tree privet) in Auckland, New Zealand. A total of 815 beetles were found, from 20 families and 42 relative taxonomic units. Using monthly data, there was no correlation between soil moisture and diversity index (P = 0.805) or species richness (P = 0.375). These results raise the question of whether urban patches of non-native tree privet may have potential as reservoirs of beetle diversity, if only until they are replaced with native vegetation.