Saproxylic beetles are insects that depend on dead and decaying wood for at least part of their lifecycle and play important ecological roles in European habitats. Together with fungi, they contribute to the break-down of deadwood and are involved in decomposition processes and the recycling of nutrients in natural ecosystems. They interact with other organisms such as mites, nematodes, bacteria and fungi, assisting in their dispersal across the landscape. They also provide an important food source for birds and mammals, and some species are involved in pollination. ... The long-term survival of these beetles depends on new generations of trees developing and becoming suitable for colonisation as the host trees decline and disintegrate. This means that certain beetles can be at risk even while the overall population is strong, as new host trees are not becoming available. Old and hollow trees have become increasingly scarce around the world, including in Europe, due to land management practices.
The current IUCN European Red List provides an assessment for 693 species of saproxylic beetles.