Eur. J. Entomol. 113: 60-69, 2016 | 10.14411/eje.2016.007

Effects of habitat and landscape features on grassland Orthoptera on floodplains in the lower reaches of the Tisza River Basin

Attila TORMA1, Miklós BOZSÓ2
1 Department of Ecology, University of Szeged, Közép Fasor 52, Szeged H-6726, Hungary; e-mail: torma_a@yahoo.com
2 Plant Health and Molecular Biology Laboratory, Directorate of Plant Protection, Soil Conservation and Agri-environment, National Food Chain Safety Office, Budaörsi u. 141-145, Budapest H-1118, Hungary; e-mail: mikitv.bozs@gmail.com

The Tisza River Basin is an important area as it is a green corridor in which there are highly endangered habitats and a high level of biodiversity. The patterns in the species richness of invertebrates and the environmental conditions affecting these patterns are poorly studied in the grassy habitats in the lower reaches of the Tisza River Basin. The present study focuses on the effects of flooding, habitat and landscape features on the species richness of orthopterans at 24 grassland sites in two different landscapes. The relations between the explanatory variables and the pattern of diversity of orthopterans with different life-history traits were studied, using ordination and Generalized Linear Mixed Models. Although the influential factors for the different trait groups differed, we suggest that landscape features are the most important in shaping orthopteran assemblages, whereas habitat characteristics and flooding have comparatively little effect. Habitat characteristics affected only the non-xerophilous and Ensifera species and only the species richness of non-xerophilous orthopterans in flooded and non-flooded sites differed. We emphasize that even in countries where there are still considerable areas of high value natural grasslands, such as Hungary, non-protected meadows, linear grassy habitats (dikes, ditch banks, road verges, etc.) need more attention and should be given higher priority in the conservation of invertebrates.

Keywords: Orthoptera, Caelifera, Ensifera, dispersal, diversity, flooding, niche breadth, reproductive potential

Received: November 4, 2014; Accepted: September 24, 2015; Published online: January 11, 2016

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