New Zealand Journal of Ecology (2000) 24(2): 195- 200

Species richness of indigenous beetles in restored plant communities on Matiu-Somes Island, Wellington Harbour, New Zealand

Research Article
C. H. Watts 1,2,*
G. W. Gibbs 1
  1. School of Biological Sciences, Victoria University, P.O. Box 600, Wellington, New Zealand
  2. Address for correspondence: Landcare Research, Private Bag 3127, Hamilton, New Zealand
*  Corresponding author

Previous studies have shown that indigenous beetle diversity reflects indigenous plant diversity in modified and remnant habitats. This study examines the indigenous: introduced relationship at a locality where degraded pasture has been progressively revegetated. Pitfall traps were used to collect beetles from three revegetated sites of different ages (5, 17 and 100 years) and in a coastal Muehlenbeckia habitat on Matiu- Somes Island (25 ha), Wellington Harbour, New Zealand. A total of 78 morphospecies were found over 12 months. The indigenous: introduced status of 74 species were determined; 67 were classified as 'indigenous', and 7 as 'introduced'. A positive trend was found between the proportion of ground-dwelling indigenous beetle species collected and the proportion of indigenous plant species present at a study site. As the revegetated site matured, the proportion of indigenous beetle species increased. We collected 20 (83%), 37 (88%) and 48 (92%) indigenous beetle species from the 5-year scrubland, 17-year shrubland and 100-year forest, respectively.