Both local and landscape factors determine plant and Orthoptera diversity in the semi-natural grasslands of Transylvania, Romania

Laura M E Sutcliffe, P. Batáry, Thomas Becker, Kirill Márk Orci, Christoph Leuschner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Semi-natural grassland supports a large proportion of biodiversity and ecosystem services in Europe, however, it is continuing to be destroyed or degraded. In addition to the clear role of local management in these processes, there is increasing evidence for wider landscape-scale effects on species richness and community composition of plants and animals. Most of this evidence comes from studies in highly altered western European landscapes with only fragments of remaining semi-natural grassland. In contrast, Eastern European countries such as Romania still contain large areas of semi-natural grassland, but this habitat is threatened by agricultural intensification and homogenization. We analyzed vascular plant and Orthoptera communities from species-rich pastures in Southern Transylvania, Romania, against a range of local and landscape factors. Species richness of plants had a highly significant positive relationship with landscape heterogeneity. Orthoptera species richness and abundance were negatively correlated with plant species richness, and increased with proportion of grassland in the landscape and local vegetation height. The results suggest that large and species-rich grassland communities can be significantly affected by both local and landscape scale land use changes, but effects can vary within and between taxonomic groups. Conservation measures such as agri-environment schemes should therefore seek to address landscape scale processes better, promoting a range of low-intensity land use practices in order to support a variety of landscape types.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-245
Number of pages17
JournalBiodiversity and Conservation
Volume24
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2015

Fingerprint

Romania
Orthoptera
grasslands
grassland
species richness
species diversity
agricultural intensification
botanical composition
Eastern European region
scale effect
homogenization
vascular plant
ecosystem service
vascular plants
land use change
ecosystem services
community composition
pasture
land use
pastures

Keywords

  • Agricultural intensification
  • Community composition
  • Eastern Europe
  • Farmland biodiversity
  • Grasshopper
  • Landscape heterogeneity
  • Species-rich grassland

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

Cite this

Both local and landscape factors determine plant and Orthoptera diversity in the semi-natural grasslands of Transylvania, Romania. / Sutcliffe, Laura M E; Batáry, P.; Becker, Thomas; Orci, Kirill Márk; Leuschner, Christoph.

In: Biodiversity and Conservation, Vol. 24, No. 2, 01.02.2015, p. 229-245.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Sutcliffe, Laura M E ; Batáry, P. ; Becker, Thomas ; Orci, Kirill Márk ; Leuschner, Christoph. / Both local and landscape factors determine plant and Orthoptera diversity in the semi-natural grasslands of Transylvania, Romania. In: Biodiversity and Conservation. 2015 ; Vol. 24, No. 2. pp. 229-245.
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