Rove beetles (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae) constitute the largest family of insects worldwide, with more than 55,440 described species. In Canada, more than 1400 species of rove beetles are known; however, our understanding of staphylinid ecology and habitat requirements is still very limited. Recent work has revealed that staphylinids are dominant organisms in Canadian forest ecosystems, and as many species require continuous, mature or old-growth stands, the composition of their species assemblages effectively communicates the degree of natural or human impact upon these systems. Species-level identifications are critical in surveys aiming to document ecosystem change via human development or climate change.
Natural and human-caused activities shape our environment and the assemblages of species that inhabit ecosystems and their various microhabitats. Species and assemblages of species are not static entities but are dynamic and change in response to availability of suitable habitats, relationships with other taxa and environmental conditions. Increasingly, human-caused perturbations such as destruction and fragmentation of habitat, inadvertent introduction of non-native species, pollution, over-utilization of biological resources and increasing concentration of greenhouse gases are profoundly changing ecological relationships and resulting in widespread and often irreversible changes in abundance and distribution of species (Buse and Good 1993, Klimaszewski et al. 2008c, 2010, Majka and Klimaszewski 2008c, Paquin and Coderre 1977, Pohl et al. 2008). Consequently, we are experiencing (and causing) one of the largest species extinctions in the history of our planet. Detailed monitoring of ecological change through the study of dynamic species assemblages is important in the mitigation of biodiversity and natural resource loss. Baseline biological data are needed for monitoring the trajectory and degree of change over time. The present paper provides t
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