Ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) in the intensively cultivated agricultural landscape of Northern China – implications for biodiversity conservation


Zhenrong Yu, College of Agricultural Resources and Environmental Sciences, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China. E-mail:


Abstract.  1. In the intensively cultivated major crop production areas of China, large knowledge gaps still prevail with regard to the current status of biodiversity in general, and especially in relation to agriculture management and planting patterns. Effective measures for species conservation are hence widely lacking.

2. The diversity of ground beetle (Coleoptera: Carabidae) assemblages was compared between intensively managed wheat/maize fields, cotton monocultures, lawns, orchards and semi-natural woodland located in Quzhou county, a typical, intensively managed agricultural region in the North China Plain.

3. Although significant differences were found in species composition between different habitats, diversity of ground beetles in non-cropping sites was not significantly higher than in intensively managed wheat/maize double-cropping fields, while cotton monocultures had a significant lower carabid diversity. A combination of intensively managed wheat/maize double-cropping fields with orchards appears to preserve substantial proportions of ground beetle diversity.

4. To conserve the full spectrum of beetle species currently observed in the agricultural landscape of the North China Plain, the creation of both diverse habitats and a diversity of cropping systems are important, which includes a strengthening of less intensive farming practices.