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Walcher, R; Karrer, J; Sachslehner, L; Bohner, A; Pachinger, B; Brandl, D; Zaller, JG; Arnberger, A; Frank, T.
(2017): Diversity of bumblebees, heteropteran bugs and grasshoppers maintained by both: abandonment and extensive management of mountain meadows in three regions across the Austrian and Swiss Alps
LANDSCAPE ECOL. 2017; 32(10): 1937-1951. FullText FullText_BOKU

Context Abandonment of extensively managed meadows is an ongoing global challenge in recent decades, particularly in mountain regions, and directly affects plant diversity. However, the extent to which plant diversity further affects associated insect pollinators or herbivores is little investigated. Objectives We focused on the effects of abandonment of mountain meadows on species richness and assemblages of bumblebees, bugs and grasshoppers. Specifically, we investigated the influence of vegetation cover, flower cover, plant richness and surrounding landscape on the three insect groups. Methods Species richness, abundance and species assemblages of bumblebees, bugs and grasshoppers were surveyed in one Swiss and two Austrian regions: three meadows which had been abandoned for 15-60 years, and three extensively managed meadows (mown once a year, no use of fertilizers). We surveyed bumblebees and bugs by sweep net, and grasshoppers using the time-effective soundscape approach. Results Bumblebee species richness and abundance were significantly higher in managed meadows, whereas bug and grasshopper richness and abundance showed no differences between both management types. Managed and abandoned meadows harboured significantly different species assemblages of bugs and grasshoppers, but not of bumblebees. Increasing flower cover and plant richness increased bumblebee richness, but correlated negatively with richness of bugs. Surrounding open landscape positively affected bugs. Caelifera positively correlated with surrounding forest cover and negatively with vegetation cover. Vegetation cover positively affected Ensifera. Conclusions Abandoned and extensively managed meadows are important habitat types for the conservation of the three insect groups, thus suggesting the maintenance of both habitat types within mountain landscapes.
Authors BOKU Wien:
Arnberger Arne
Frank Thomas
Pachinger Baerbel
Walcher Ronnie
Zaller Johann
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Find related publications in this database (Keywords)
Mountain grassland
Species richness
Species assemblages
Bombus sp.

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