The effect of strip-management on surface activity, movements and activity density of abundant carabid beetles during two vegetation periods in a cereal field was investigated using mark-recapture techniques. Significantly higher recapture rates, indicating higher activity, were found in the strip-managed area than in the control area, especially in Poecilus cupreus and also in Carabus granulatus and Pterostichus melanarius. Several observations led to the conclusion that this higher activity is generally due to a prolongation of the reproductive period in the strip-managed area. Significantly higher activity densities were found for P. cupreus, Pterostichus anthracinus, C. granulatus and Pt. melanarius in the strip-managed area than in a bordering control area. P. cupreus is greatly attracted to the strips during its migrations, as can be deduced from the high percentage of movements that contact the strips. Also, significantly more marked individuals moved from the control to the strip-managed area than vice versa. Pt. melanarius and Pt. anthracinus show less preference for the strips in their movements than P. cupreus. However, significantly more individuals of Pt. melanarius also moved from the control to the strip-managed area. C. granulatus, on the other hand, kept mainly to the cereal areas. After harvest only Pterostichus niger and Harpalus rufipes distinctly preferred the strips. The generally marked degree of attraction exercised by strip-management on carabid beetles is discussed.
Keywords: Activity; Activity density; Carabidae; Habitat management; Movements.