Bioclimatic Implications and Distribution Patterns of the Modern Ground Beetle Fauna (Insecta: Coleoptera: Carabidae) of the Arctic Slope of Alaska, U.S.A.


  • Robert E. Nelson



Alaska, Carabidae, climate, Coleoptera, distribution, environments, paleoenvironment, vegetation


Some 56 species of Carabidae have been previously reported on the Arctic Slope of Alaska; of these, only nine have been found at coastal sites in the region. Though for some taxa (e.g., most species of Bembidion) this may reflect a lack of suitable habitat in the coastal environment, for most others it probably reflects the summer temperature differences between the relatively cool coastal areas (mean July temp [mJt] of ca. 4°C) and warmer interior sites (mJt of ca. 9-10°C). The boundary between the relatively species-rich interior fauna and the more depauperate coastal fauna is probably also approximated by the inland limit of incursions of cool summer coastal fogs, which coincides with a sharp vegetational boundary. Additional systematic collecting of specimens and a coordinated effort to gather climate data will be needed to delimit distributional limits more closely and to provide background data for both modern environmental monitoring and paleoenvironmental reconstructions.