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Volume 2012, Article ID 879715, 12 pages
Research Article

Effects of Habitat and Human Activities on Species Richness and Assemblages of Staphylinidae (Coleoptera) in the Baltic Sea Coast

Department of Applied Ecology, Institute for Ecosystem Research, Christian Albrecht University, 24098 Kiel, Germany

Received 15 June 2011; Accepted 6 August 2011

Academic Editor: Panagiotis Milonas

Copyright © 2012 Ulrich Irmler. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In 2009, the staphylind fauna was studied in six habitats of the Baltic Sea coast of Schleswig-Holstein (northern Germany). The following habitats lagoon, sandy beach, shingle beach, primary dune, wooded cliff, and woodless cliff were significantly separated by their species composition. Vegetation and soil moisture were the most important factors separating the assemblages. Lagoons exhibited the most species-rich habitat. Sandy beaches provided the highest number of endangered species. Both sandy beaches and woodless cliffs showed the highest number of exclusive species. A loss of species was determined in the gradient from sandy to shingle beaches. Few species preferred shingle beaches; abundance of Cafius xantholoma increased with the increasing amount of shingle. More species preferred the sandy conditions, for example, Polystomota grisea, P. punctatella, and Phytosus spinifer. Anotylus insecatus and Bledius defensus require distinct mixtures of sand and silt on woodless cliffs. Tourist impact on sandy beaches accounts for approximately 50% loss of species.