The diversity of beetle assemblages in different habitat types (primary forest, logged forest, acacia plantation and oil palm plantation) in Sabah, Malaysia was investigated using three different methods based on habitat levels (Winkler sampling, flight-interception-trapping and mist-blowing). The overall diversity was extremely high, with 1711 species recorded from only 8028 individuals and 81 families (115 family and subfamily groups). Different degrees of environmental changes had varying effects on the beetle species richness and abundance, with oil palm plantation assemblage being most severely affected, followed by acacia plantation and then logged forest. A few species became numerically dominant in the oil palm plantation. In terms of beetle species composition, the acacia fauna showed much similarity with the logged forest fauna, and the oil palm fauna was very different from the rest. The effects of environmental variables (number of plant species, sapling and tree densities, amount of leaf litter, ground cover, canopy cover, soil pH and compaction) on the beetle assemblage were also investigated. Leaf litter correlated with species richness, abundance and composition of subterranean beetles. Plant species richness, tree and sapling densities correlated with species richness, abundance and composition of understorey beetles while ground cover correlated only with the species richness and abundance of these beetles. Canopy cover correlated only with arboreal beetles. In trophic structure, predators represented more than 40% of the species and individuals. Environmental changes affected the trophic structure with proportionally more herbivores (abundance) but fewer predators (species richness and abundance) in the oil palm plantation. Biodiversity, conservation and practical aspects of pest management were also highlighted in this study.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.