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  • 1 Aleksandras Stulginskis University, Studentų 11, Akademija, Kaunas distr., LT-53361,, Lithuania
  • 2 Kaunas T. Ivanauskas Zoological Museum, Laisvės al. 106, LT-44253 Kaunas, Lithuania
  • 3 Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Nowoursynowska 159; 02–776 Warszawa, Poland
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The paper analyzed the changes of beetle assemblages in the litter layer of eutrophic pine forests in the zone polluted by a nitrogen fertilizer plant Joint Stock Company “Achema” (Lithuania). We hypothesized that abundance, diversity and life traits of beetle assemblages depend on the distance from the pollution source. The samples of the litter layer were taken from pine stands at the distances of 3, 5, 10 and 20 km from the plant. The PCA and GLM analyses were used to reduce the number of variables to the main environmental gradient and assess the influence of environmental factors on beetle abundance, number of species, and life traits. The dependence of species number, abundance and the presence of forest and dendrophagous species on the distance from the plant was detected. A significant impact of organic carbon content, nitrogen emission and moss cover on other life traits of beetles was disclosed. The abundance of moss fraction in the litter layer was positively correlated with increasing distance from the plant. The ability to tolerate polluted sites by three species: Atheta fungi, Micrambe abietis and Brassicogethes aeneus, and intolerance of pollution by eight species: Bryaxis puncticollis, Quedius limbatus, Cyphon pubescens, Cephenium majus, Cyphon padi, Cyphon variabilis, Gabrius appendiculatus and Philonthus cognatus, were detected by IndVal analysis. The distribution of litter species was affected by the distance from the plant and by the richness of moss cover.

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