Eur. J. Entomol. 107 (4): 571-577, 2010 | DOI: 10.14411/eje.2010.066

Ecological factors determining the density-distribution of Central European dragonflies (Odonata)

Filip HARABIŠ1, Aleš DOLNÝ2
1 Department of Ecology, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Kamýcká 129, 165 21 Praha 6 - Suchdol, Czech Republic, e-mail: harabis.f@gmail.com
2 Department of Biology and Ecology, University of Ostrava, Chittussiho 10, 710 00 Ostrava; e-mail: ales.dolny@osu.cz

Habitat specificity is the most important factor affecting the regional distribution of dragonflies. Nevertheless, species with the highest specificity are not always the scarcest. Several important determinants of dragonfly density-distribution relationships were identified. Altitude preference and altitude range are significantly associated with dragonfly distribution. Some of the species that are habitat specialists but occur over a wide range of altitudes should be classified as rare but not endangered. This very simple principle is based on the assumption that habitat specialists have a very limited number of suitable biotopes. Obviously, dragonflies with a marginal distribution prefer a narrow range of altitudes (especially in terms of temperature limitation) and biotopes (effect of biogeography, marginality). Surprisingly, there is no "critical" life stage that is significantly associated with the regional distribution of dragonflies, although most species spend most time in the larval stage. Knowledge of the dispersal ability of particular species is limited, although it could significantly affect species survival and distribution.

Keywords: Habitat specificity, niche breath, Odonata, relative distribution, dragonflies

Received: December 18, 2009; Accepted: May 17, 2010; Published: October 20, 2010

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