Studies of the mesovoid shallow substratum can change the accepted autecology of species: the case of ground beetles (Coleoptera, Carabidae) in the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park (Spain)

  1. V. M. Ortuño
  2. E. Ledesma
  3. A. Jiménez-Valverde
  4. G. Pérez-Suárez
Animal Biodiversity and Conservation

ISSN: 1578-665X

Year of publication: 2019

Volume: 42

Issue: 2

Pages: 213-226

Type: Article

DOI: 10.32800/ABC.2019.42.0213 DIALNET GOOGLE SCHOLAR lock_openOpen access editor

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The family Carabidae is of particular interest not only due to its great specific diversity but also due to the geophilic nature of many of its members, which makes them good bioindicators of soil characteristics. The diversity of the epigean Carabidae is relatively well studied. However, there are no robust data on the presence of these beetles in hypogean habitats of non–karstic substrate and, therefore, without the development of caves. In the present study, we sampled the mesovoid shallow substratum (MSS) at various sites in the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park, with the aim of characterising the Carabidae hypogean fauna. Among many other organisms, we collected 12 species of Carabidae. Of these, despite being known from epigean/edaphic habitats, Leistus (Leistus) con-strictus Schaufuss, 1862, Nebria (Nebria) vuillefroyi Chaudoir, 1866, Trechus (Trechus) schaufussi pandelleiPutzeys, 1870, and Laemostenus (Eucryptotrichus) pinicola (Graells, 1851) are consistently reported from MSS habitats, albeit with certain differences as regards their occupation of subterranean spaces. The species from forest–dwelling (thermophilous) lineages, T. (T.) schaufussi pandellei and L. (E.) pinicola, presented a higher prevalence in subsoil cavities at lower altitudes, whereas those from orobiont (psychrophilic) lineages, L. (L.) constrictusand N. (N.) vuillefroyi, predominated in subsoils at higher altitudes. As regards the presence of these four species during their different life cycle stages, we found that N. (N.)vuillefroyi was present and abundant as both larval (in the three preimaginal stages) and imago stages, showing the most evident trend towards an hypogean lifestyle. In contrast, for the other three species, only one of the two stages showed a high presence on hypogean habitats. The facultative hypogean capabilities of N. (N.) vuillefroyi and L. (L.) constrictus calls into question the protected status conferred on both species when it was thought that they were exclusively epigean.

Funding information

This work was funded by the project 'Estudio de la diversidad y distribución de las especies animales residentes en el Medio Subterráneo Superficial de enclaves de Alta Montaña (P. N. de la Sierra de Gua-darrama)' [Study of the diversity and distribution of the animal species of the Mesovoid Shallow Substratum in enclaves of high Mountain (Sierra de Guadarrama National Park)], conceded by the Autonomous Organism of National Parks of Spain. Ref.(1143/2014). It was also funded by the Program for Young Researchers o‏f ‏the University of Alcalá 'Contratos Predoctorales de Personal Investigador en Formación' under the budget implementation 30400M000.541.A 640.06, of which Enrique Ledesma is a beneficiary. A. Jiménez–Valverde wa‏s su‏ppor‏te‏d by the MINECO Ramón y Cajal Program (RYC–2013–14441). We would like to thank the staff at the National Park who kindly helped us with the permission applications and other formalities, and to those who also helped us with the fieldwork, especially Patricia Riquelme, Pablo Sanjuanbenito, Juan A. Vielva, Javier Donés, Marisol Redondo, Ignacio Granados, Ángel Rubio, César Martín, José Carrillo, Miguel Ángel Palomar, Ángel Velasco, Germán Mato, Manuel Criado, Enrique Calvo, Federico Madejón, Montserrat Sanz, and forestry agents of Buitrago de‏ Loz‏oya.‏ Thanks also‏ to our colleagues w‏ho‏ collaborated ‏in‏ the desig‏n of the sam‏plings and the fieldwork, such as José D. Gilgado, Enrique Baquero, Alberto Sendra, Pablo Barranco, Alberto Tinaut, Rafael Jordana, ‏Luis‏ Sub‏ía‏s, Juan José Herrero–Borgoñón, Douglas Zeleppelini and Javier Ledesma. Special thanks too to our colleagues and students who helped us in fieldwork and laboratory work: Joaquín Calatayud, David Cabanillas, Sara de Lope, and Daniel Méndez.