Myriapod (Chilopoda, Diplopoda) communities in hedgerows of upland agricultural landscape
It is well established that hedgerows provide habitats, which cannot be found in otherwise coherent agricultural landscape. However, different organisms vary in their response to various environmental variables of hedgerows. The aim of this paper is to study how are the myriapod species richness and community composition related to biological and morphological parameters of farmland hedgerows. We expected diversity to be related to size of hedgerows and community composition to be primarily affected by their biological attributes. We studied myriapod communities in 20 hedgerows located in close vicinity of Zibritov village (the Carpathians, Slovakia) in Central European upland farmland. Characteristics of the hedgerows were either measured in the field or derived from GIS layers. We used univariate and multivariate correlation methods to investigate the effect of hedgerow characteristics on diversity and composition of myriapod communities. Surprisingly high taxa numbers of myriapods were found within small area. Richness of millipedes showed negative relationship with hedgerow plant community diversity, hedgerow length and soil depth and weak positive relationships with a degree of shrub layer defoliation. Centipede richness was mainly related to diversity of hedgerow tree layer. We did not find any significant relationship between centipede communities' composition and environment. Length of hedgerows was the only variable showing significant relationship with millipede communities' composition. Despite small area, hedgerows represent important habitats for several species of centipedes and millipedes and show specific composition of their tax-ocoenoses determined by hedgerows attributes. Farmland hedgerows appear to be important habitats for soil organisms, which may be further beneficial for surrounding landscape.
Author(s): Stasiov, S; Diviakova, A; Svitok, M; Novikmec, M