Microhabitat heterogeneity is considered to be one of the main factors affecting the structure and diversity of natural communities. This study evaluated: (i) whether it is possible to associate the distribution of four orthopteran species with small-scale spatial microhabitat heterogeneity based on floristic composition; and (ii) whether interspecific differences exist in microhabitat was among the different orthopteran species over a gradient of vegetation succession induced by abandonment of meadows. Orthoptera and plant species were sampled on 72 plots across an ecotonal area on Monte Bondone in the Southern Italian Alps. Microhabitats were identified based on grassland and undergrowth vegetation composition and by classifying sample plots using cluster analysis. Eight microhabitats were identified, each corresponding to a separate successional stage, and microhabitat use by each species was assessed. The distribution of orthopteran species revealed a different use of microhabitats. Species also had differing patterns of distribution, and a shift in distribution occurred following a change in microhabitat structure caused by mowing. The importance of the maintenance of a mosaic of microhabitats, with differently managed adjacent areas is discussed

Guido, M.; Gianelle, D. (2001). Distribution patterns of four Orthoptera species in relation to microhabitat heterogeneity in an ecotonal area. ACTA OECOLOGICA, 22 (3): 175-185. doi: 10.1016/S1146-609X(01)01109-2 handle: http://hdl.handle.net/10449/21295

Distribution patterns of four Orthoptera species in relation to microhabitat heterogeneity in an ecotonal area

Gianelle, Damiano
2001-01-01

Abstract

Microhabitat heterogeneity is considered to be one of the main factors affecting the structure and diversity of natural communities. This study evaluated: (i) whether it is possible to associate the distribution of four orthopteran species with small-scale spatial microhabitat heterogeneity based on floristic composition; and (ii) whether interspecific differences exist in microhabitat was among the different orthopteran species over a gradient of vegetation succession induced by abandonment of meadows. Orthoptera and plant species were sampled on 72 plots across an ecotonal area on Monte Bondone in the Southern Italian Alps. Microhabitats were identified based on grassland and undergrowth vegetation composition and by classifying sample plots using cluster analysis. Eight microhabitats were identified, each corresponding to a separate successional stage, and microhabitat use by each species was assessed. The distribution of orthopteran species revealed a different use of microhabitats. Species also had differing patterns of distribution, and a shift in distribution occurred following a change in microhabitat structure caused by mowing. The importance of the maintenance of a mosaic of microhabitats, with differently managed adjacent areas is discussed
Abandonment
Microhabitat preference
Mowing
Orthoptera
Secondary succession
Vegetation composition
2001
Guido, M.; Gianelle, D. (2001). Distribution patterns of four Orthoptera species in relation to microhabitat heterogeneity in an ecotonal area. ACTA OECOLOGICA, 22 (3): 175-185. doi: 10.1016/S1146-609X(01)01109-2 handle: http://hdl.handle.net/10449/21295
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