Secondary habitats are important in biodiversity conservation: a case study on orthopterans along ditch banks

Torma, A.  Bozsó, M.  Gallé, R. 

Abstract

It has been shown that native biota can survive in secondary habitats such as road verges, dikes and hedges. We aimed to assess the conservation value of ditch banks for orthopterans in an agricultural landscape in Hungary, based on the analyses of species richness and abundance data using mixed–models. We did not find any differences in the species richness between isolated ditch banks, semi–isolated ditch banks and control meadows. The extent of isolation had a significantly negative effect, however, on the abundance of sedentary species. We found that the density of woody vegetation along ditch banks had a negative effect on the total abundance and the abundance of mobile species. Positive relationships were found between the width of ditch bank vegetation and the abundance of Caelifera, mobile, xerophilous and mesophilous species. Our results suggest that the density of orthopterans may be a more sensitive measure for habitat quality than their species richness. We concluded
that ditch banks are a suitable habitat for the majority of orthopterans, including rare and endangered species, emphasizing that ditch banks and similar linear habitats should receive more attention and should be given a more prominent role in invertebrate conservation.

Key words

Invertebrate diversity, Species traits, Linear habitat, Agricultural landscape

Reception date: 9 IX 16 | Acceptation date: 20 VI 17 | Publication date: 27 X 17

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