Global warning: challenges, threats and opportunities for ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) in high altitude habitats

Keywords: global warning, Carabidae, climatic refugia, debris-covered glaciers, glacier forelands, rock glaciers


Aim of this paper is to provide the first comprehensive synthesis about ground beetle (Coleoptera: Carabidae) distribution in high altitude habitats. Specifically, the attention is focused on the species assemblages living on the most common ice-related mountain landforms (glaciers, debris-covered glaciers, glacier forelands and rock glaciers) and the challenges, threats and opportunities carabids living in these habitats have to face concerning the ongoing climate warming. The suggested role of the ice-related alpine landforms, as present climatic refugia for cold-adapted ground beetles, is discussed. Finally, the needs to develop a large-scale High-alpine Biodiversity Monitoring Program to describe how the current climate change is shaping the distribution of high altitude specialists is highlighted.