A bioindicator is a species or a group of species that reflects the abiotic or biotic state of the environment, represents the impact of environmental change on a habitat, community or ecosystems, or indicates the diversity of other species. The primary goal of research on bioindicators is to identify species or other taxonomic units that would reliably indicate disturbances in the environment and reflect the responses of other species or the overall biodiversity. However, there is no perfect bioindicator and selecting the most suitable one depends to a great extent on the goal of the survey. In this paper we examine the suitability of ground beetles (carabids) as bioindicators.
Ground beetles play important roles in an ecosystem owing to their wide range of feeding mechanisms and being very numerous. They feed on wide range of organic materials including plant debris and animal dungs, thus playing a key role of nutrient recycling within an ecosystem. Moreover, due to their higher sensitivity to environmental changes (physical, climatic, chemical changes), ground beetles can be used as indicators for changes in environmental conditions. They are very mobile and fast in occupying good quality habitats and in avoiding degraded habitats. The underlying assumption is that the presence of a limited subset of all species (ground beetles) would indicate the presence of the complete set (biodiversity).Thus, it is imperative to assess the response of ground beetle species to the quarry restoration efforts at Wazo Hill Quarry (WHQ) as novel species for indicating environmental quality.