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The role of various meadow margin types in shaping carabid and staphylinid beetle assemblages (Coleoptera: Carabidae, Staphylinidae) in meadow dominated landscapes

Journal of Insect Conservation

Abstract

Less intensively managed semi-natural habitats, e.g., field and meadow margins like hedgerows, are thought to be crucial landscape components for maintaining biodiversity in highly disturbed and intensively managed agricultural landscapes. In this study, we focused on the effects of three meadow margin types on activity-density, species richness and species composition of carabid and staphylinid beetles recorded by pitfall traps in Central European landscapes dominated by intensively managed meadows. Carabid activity-density was significantly higher in meadows than in meadow margins and within meadow margins their activity-density increased from grassy meadow margins via shrubby ones to woody meadow margins. We found that recorded species richness of both carabid and staphylinid beetles was not significantly affected by habitat identity (meadow margin or neighbouring meadow) and meadow margin type. Recorded species composition of both investigated taxa was significantly affected by habitat identity and interaction between habitat identity and meadow margin type (i.e. it differed between particular meadow margin types). Assemblages inhabiting various meadow margin types were more dissimilar between each other than assemblages from neighbouring meadows. Meadow margins within grassland dominated landscapes maintain local species richness by hosting different species from those living in surrounding meadows. Dissimilarity of carabid and staphylinid assemblages from meadows neighbouring both sides of particular meadow margin did not differ between meadow margin types. Our results indicate that semi-natural habitats play an important role in maintaining biodiversity not only in agricultural landscapes dominated by arable fields, but also in those dominated by meadows.

Author(s): Jahnova, Z; Knapp, M; Bohac, J; Tulachova, M

Journal: Journal of Insect Conservation

Year: 2016

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