Vegetation cover and grasslands in the vicinity accelerate development of carabid beetle assemblages on restored landfill sites

Md Lutfor Rahman, Sam Tarrant, Duncan McCollin, Jeff Ollerton

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


There is increasing evidence that rare and scarce carabid species of conservation importance are frequent in brownfield sites such as restored landfill. However, this potential has largely been unexplored and was investigated here by examining carabid species composition, richness, and abundance in relation to habitat quality and landscape structure on landfill sites in comparison to paired reference sites of existing wildlife value. Sampling was conducted by collecting carabids in ten pitfall traps set along two 100 m transects on each of nine restored landfill and their paired reference sites in the East Midlands region of the UK. A total of 1014 individuals representing thirty seven carabid species were found during April to September in 2007 and 2008. On the landfill sites, generalist species were common, while no nationally rare or scarce species were found. Neither species richness nor diversity of carabid species was found to be different from that of the reference sites. Seeding during restoration was found to have a strong positive effect on richness and diversity, with seeded landfill sites tending to be similar to reference sites in terms of carabid species composition. Marked differences in diversity and richness were also attributed to variation in the amount of local vegetation cover, with presence of grassland in the surrounding landscape having a positive effect on carabid assemblages. We suggest that initial seeding may be an appropriate conservation strategy to improve beetle diversity and richness, coupled with management in terms of cutting to increase the potential of these sites for carabid conservation at the landscape scale.
Original languageEnglish
JournalZoology and Ecology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 11 Aug 2015


  • Ground beetles
  • restoration
  • habitat quality
  • landscape structure
  • grassland
  • landfill


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