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We studied carabid beetle assemblages found in riparian black alder forests in the Sila plateau (Southern Apennines). These carabid assemblages are characterized by a high incidence of endemic small-sized, low dispersal, highly stenotopic (hygrophilic), and trophycally specialized species. To evaluate the influence of anthropogenic disturbance on these insects, we compared carabid assemblage of an old undisturbed forest (65-170y, wilderness landscape) with that of a younger, partly grazed stand (40-60y, cropland landscape). The carabid assemblage of the disturbed stand was characterized by a higher number of species, but showed a lower incidence of zoophagous specialists and brachypterous beetles, with many species probably coming from an adjacent cropland. However, the disturbed stand maintains almost 80% of the core species found in the older forest, which suggests that these insects are not particularly sensitive to disturbance factors represented by periodic wood harvesting and extensive cattle grazing.
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