Phenological changes of the most commonly sampled ground beetle (Coleoptera: Carabidae) species in the UK environmental change network

Gabor Pozsgai*, John Baird, Nick A. Littlewood, Robin J. Pakeman, Mark R. Young

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Despite the important roles ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) play in ecosystems, the highly valued ecosystem services they provide, and ample descriptive documentation of their phenology, the relative impact of various environmental factors on carabid phenology is not well studied. Using the long-term pitfall trap capture data from 12 terrestrial Environmental Change Network (ECN) sites from the UK, we examined how changing climate influenced the phenology of common carabids, and the role particular climate components had on phenological parameters. Of the 28 species included in the analyses, 19 showed earlier start of their activity. This advance was particularly pronounced in the spring, supporting the view that early phenophases have a greater tendency to change and these changes are more directly controlled by temperature than later ones. Autumn activity extended only a few cases, suggesting a photoperiod-driven start of hibernation. No association was found between life-history traits and the ability of species to change their phenology. Air temperatures between April and June were the most important factors determining the start of activity of each species, whilst late season precipitation hastened the cessation of activity. The balance between the advantages and disadvantages of changing phenology on various levels is likely to depend on the species and even on local environmental criteria. The substantially changing phenology of Carabidae may influence their function in ecosystems and the ecosystem services they provide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1063-1074
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Biometeorology
Issue number6
Early online date7 Mar 2018
Publication statusPrint publication - 1 Jun 2018


  • Climate change
  • Environmental driver
  • Life-history
  • Long-term monitoring
  • Phenology
  • Temporal scale


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