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1 March 2014 Impacts of Mowing, Grazing and Edge Effect on Orthoptera of Submontane Grasslands: Perspectives for Biodiversity Protection
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Semi-natural grasslands managed by mowing and grazing are an important part of European landscape. Orthopterans are considered to be an appropriate indicator to assess the impact of agricultural management on grassland ecosystems. We studied effects of mowing, grazing and two kinds of edges on Orthoptera of submontane hay meadows and pastures in the Hrubý Jeseník Mts. (Czech Republic). Using sweep netting and pan trapping, we sampled orthopteran assemblages associated with the farmland managed for at least five years under Czech agri-environmental schemes. In total we collected 2253 individuals of orthopterans representing 14 species. The short-term impacts of mowing and grazing were tested by multivariate ordination analyses. The results indicate that mowing significantly decreased Orthoptera species abundance. Conversely, the response of orthopterans to grazing was not statistically significant and appeared to be species-specific. The abundance of acridid Gomphocerippus rufus increased substantially with grazing, which is in contrast with its negative response to mowing. The negative influence of mowing on grassland inhabitants can be mitigated by lower mowing frequency and by providing temporary uncut refuges. The results of generalized linear models showed significant increase of both species richness and total abundance of Orthoptera towards the baulks. Therefore, the refuges should be established primarily along grass baulks or similar types of permanent grassy edges. As a general rule an effort should be made when managing grasslands to ensure the highest habitat heterogeneity.

Stanislav Rada, Monika Mazalová, Jan Šipoš, and Tomáš Kuras "Impacts of Mowing, Grazing and Edge Effect on Orthoptera of Submontane Grasslands: Perspectives for Biodiversity Protection," Polish Journal of Ecology 62(1), 123-138, (1 March 2014).
Received: 1 July 2013; Published: 1 March 2014

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