Species diversity and composition of the Coleoptera (beetle) fauna in a recently abandoned military exercise field in south Sweden was studied during sixteen years. The sixteen square km large area contained deciduous wood (mainly Fagus and Carpinus), shrubland, open ground, and pastures. Beetles were captured using three different methods: pitfall trapping, striking of foliage, and sweep bag collection, giving clearly different results. Most species caught in pitfall trapping belonged to the Carabidae, but many species of Staphylinidae, and Silphidae were found as well. Foliage striking of individual trees and shrubs not only gave many species of the Curculionidae, but also of Cantharidae and Elateridae. The highest species diversity was found in Salix aurita. Sweep bag collection resulted in a great variety of beetles, belonging to many families, especially to Chrysomelidae, Curculionidae and Apionidae. This mode of collection was often carried out in such a way that affinity for individual plant species could be decided. It is concluded that land use is a decisive factor for the structure of the Coleoptera fauna, definitely more important than, e.g. climate change.
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