Carabid population and community features as an ‘adaptation’ to the landscape system: Importance of the ecotope as a landscape unit
Carabid community features have been studied from 53 forest and open habitat stands along a 70 km topographical profile from the western to the eastern coast of Calabria, Southern Italy. At regional (geographic) scale species diversity changes are easier to understand if climax habitats (forests) are dealt with separately from other open habitats, and especially from azonal ones. At landscape-ecological scale a new “three layer” model to organize species biodiversity data is proposed, based on the introduction of a new level, the η-diversity, between α and γ, that corresponds to the ecotopes. These are seen as geomorphic units guesting more animal communities strictly related each other also by syndynamic links. The results of a study on three ecotopes of the Sila Greca “pilot landscape” are reported, and compared to other animal and plant taxa. The distribution of some population- and life history traits of carabid beetles, as time of larval development and dispersal power, show that the ecotopes could be considered important “adaptation” units within the landscape.