Eur. J. Entomol. 107 (1): 129-132, 2010 | 10.14411/eje.2010.017

The importance of habitat mosaics for Orthoptera (Caelifera and Ensifera) in dry heathlands

Jens SCHIRMEL1, Irmgard BLINDOW1, Thomas FARTMANN2
1 Biological Station of Hiddensee, University of Greifswald, Biologenweg 15, 18565 Hiddensee/Kloster, Germany; e-mails: jens_schirmel@web.de, blindi@uni-greifswald.de
2 Department of Community Ecology, Institute of Landscape Ecology, University of Münster, Robert-Koch-Straße 26, 48149 Münster, Germany; e-mail: fartmann@uni-muenster.de

In summer 2008, the Orthopteran species Chorthippus biguttulus, Myrmeleotettix maculatus (Caelifera), Decticus verrucivorus and Platycleis albopunctata (Ensifera) were sampled in coastal heathland on the German Baltic Sea island of Hiddensee. The aim of this study was to assess differences in abundance of Orthoptera in three different habitats and determine the importance of habitat mosaics. Distribution patterns varied among species and total abundance of Orthoptera differed significantly among the three habitats. Due to species-specific habitat preferences the Caelifera were most abundant in grey dunes and the Ensifera in dwarf-shrub heath adjoining grey dunes. In conclusion, grey dunes are a suitable habitat for the Caelifera studied, while the Ensifera require a heathland mosaic consisting of both grey dunes and dwarf shrub vegetation.

Keywords: Orthoptera, Caelifera, Ensifera, Calluna heath, coastal heath, grey dune, heathland

Received: October 9, 2009; Accepted: November 25, 2009; Published: February 15, 2010

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