The importance of streamside sandbars to ground beetle (Coleoptera, Carabidae) communities in a deciduous forest
We used pitfall traps to sample ground beetles on sandbars along a small woodland stream and in the adjacent floodplain forest (Oglethorpe Co., GA, USA). We captured a total of 1,477 ground beetles representing 41 species. Twenty-two species were exclusive to sandbars, while eight were found only in the forested habitat. Ground beetles were captured in significantly greater numbers from sandbars, especially Brachinus janthinipennis and Omophron americanum. The B. janthinipennis record represents a new state record for the species. This study demonstrates that many unique species can be found in specialized microhabitats and emphasizes the need for biodiversity assessment surveys to include a wide range of these microhabitats within a survey area. In addition, it appears that many generalist forest species might use sandbars seasonally to exploit available resources.