Orthopteran assemblages as indicators of grassland naturalness in Hungary

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67 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Grasslands are among the most threatened habitats on Earth, as large areas have been transformed into agricultural lands. Therefore, the registration of the state of grassland remnants is of crucial importance for conservation. An easy way to survey or monitor a habitat is to choose adequate indicator taxa. North American studies showed that grasshopper communities are good indicators of disturbance. We tested this observation for Hungarian steppes. The orthopteran assemblages of three steppe patches in the Buda Hills (Hungary) were sampled. One site was newly abandoned arable land, the second was a secondary meadow with large mammal grazing pressure, the third was a strictly protected seminatural steppe meadow. Our study in Hungarian steppe remnants supports earlier findings that orthopterans are good indicators for disturbance and naturalness. We found that density was highest on the most disturbed site, while species richness and diversity indices were greatest on the seminatural site. We argue that the use of simple statistical tests ((χ)2 and rank correlation analysis) may be favoured in inventories or monitoring programs instead of complicated multivariate analysis (e.g., detrended correspondence analysis). The rank correlation analysis on the species abundance/site matrices proved to be the most effective tool in finding differences and similarities between orthopteran communities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-129
Number of pages9
JournalAgriculture, Ecosystems and Environment
Volume66
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 1997

Keywords

  • Human disturbance
  • Hungary
  • Indication
  • Orthopteran communities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science

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