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Nowicki P.,Jagiellonian University | Vrabec V.,Czech University of Life Sciences | Binzenhofer B.,Landschaftsokologische Gutachten and Kartierungen | Feil J.,The Academy of Management | And 3 more authors.
Landscape Ecology

Metapopulation models typically assume that suitable habitats occupied by local populations and unsuitable matrix separating them form a 'black-and-white' landscape mosaic, in which dispersal is primarily determined by the spatial configuration of habitat patches. In reality, however, the matrix composition is also likely to influence dispersal. Using intensive mark-recapture surveys we investigated inter-patch movements in Maculinea (Phengaris) nausithous and M. teleius occurring sympatrically in six metapopulations. Three of these metapopulations had the matrix dominated by forest, an inhospitable environment for grassland butterflies, whereas in the remaining three the matrix was mostly composed of open environments. Dispersal parameters derived with the Virtual Migration model revealed significant differences between both groups of metapopulations. Both species had a lower propensity to emigrate from their natal habitat patches, and they suffered substantially higher dispersal mortality in the metapopulations with forest matrix. On the other hand, mean dispersal distances were roughly an order of magnitude longer in forest matrix as compared with open landscapes (ca. 500-1,500 vs. 100-200 m). Our results suggest that inhospitable forest matrix induces strong selection against dispersal, leading to a reduced emigration rate. At the same time, the selection may promote emigrants with good dispersal abilities, which are able to perform long-distance movements. Thus, while it is generally believed that a matrix structurally similar to the habitat of a species should improve the functional connectivity of habitat patches, our findings imply that this may not necessarily be the case. © 2013 The Author(s). Source

Presetnik P.,Center for Cartography of Fauna and Flora | Aulagnier S.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research

The diet of Miniopterus schreibersii was investigated by morphological analysis of prey remains in droppings from the spring to the autumn of 2000 from a bat roost in northeastern Slovenia (Central Europe). Lepidoptera dominated, having an average percent volume (APV) of 79 % and constituting the bulk of the diet throughout the year. By decreasing importance in the diet, the insects identified were Neuroptera - mostly Chrysopidae (APV 9.2 %), Diptera (APV 7.4 %), Trichoptera (APV 2.2 %) and Coleoptera (APV 1.4 %). The diet was most diverse in late October. It seems that M. schreibersii is an aerial hawker that specialises in eating moths, but can opportunistically switch to other seasonably abundant prey. It hunts smallto medium-sized winged prey (wing length: 2 - 18 mm), of which most are tympanate insects. Source

Van der Meij T.,Statistics Netherlands CBS | Van Strien A.J.,Statistics Netherlands CBS | Haysom K.A.,Bat Conservation Trust | Dekker J.,Dutch Mammal Society | And 16 more authors.
Mammalian Biology

Monitoring data on hibernating bats were aggregated for the first time across a number of European countries. These supranational trends revealed that nine out of 16 bat species examined increased at their hibernation sites in Europe between 1993 and 2011, while only one is decreasing. This is reflected in the positive trend shown by a prototype multispecies bat indicator which combined the individual species trends. Our findings suggest that after a period of strong decline in the 20th century, populations of most of the investigated bat species are stabilising or recovering, although with profound differences between European bio-geographical regions and countries. Bat populations in the Continental region have a less positive tendency, compared to those in the Atlantic region. More data from more countries may reveal whether these differences are systematical. So far, the prototype indicator covers 9 countries and 16 of the 45 bat species found in Europe. The next steps will be to refine the methodology behind the indicator and to improve the indicator's representation of European bat populations and its capacity to compare trends among biogeographic regions. This should be achieved by participation of more countries and incorporating data from additional bat species, including data collected by other surveillance methods, such as summer roost counts. Robust information on trends in bat populations at a range of geographic scales is essential to the long-term conservation of bats. Further development of this indicator will make an important contribution to conservation of bats because it will stimulate international cooperation and capacity building for monitoring and research, thus exchanging and broadening knowledge of the status of bats and improving the identification of threats. © 2014 Deutsche Gesellschaft für Säugetierkunde. Source

Uhrin M.,University of P.J. Safarik | Uhrin M.,Czech University of Life Sciences | Huttmeir U.,Austrian Coordination Center for Bat Conservation and Research | Kipson M.,Charles University | And 20 more authors.
Mammal Review

Savi's pipistrelle Hypsugo savii is a Mediterranean faunal element among the bats; it occurs in southern Europe, the Canary Islands, north-western Africa, most of the Mediterranean islands, in the northern part of the Middle East, in the Crimea, Caucasus, West Turkestan, and northern Afghanistan. The northern margin of its geographical range in Europe reaches the Pyrenees, Massif Central, southern Alps, Dalmatia, Balkan Mountains and southern Crimea, like that of other similar biogeographical elements. Since the 1990s, Hypsugo savii started to be found in inland areas of south-eastern Europe and in Central Europe as far northwards as in central Bohemia and southern Poland. These numerous new occurrences seem to be either 1) connected to environmental changes caused by the current climate change 2) evidence of an intrinsic expansion process powered by the species' synanthropic tendency, including passive human-mediated transport; or 3) a reflection of the increase in field survey efforts. Distributional data on Hypsugo savii from central and south-eastern parts of Europe were gathered and evaluated. We provide a detailed review of all records available by the end of 2013. The assessment of temporal distribution of the data clearly shows an ongoing and relatively fast expansion of Hypsugo savii from southern to Central Europe, which represents a shift of almost 800km northwards in the last 20-25 years. Most of the records (65%) originate from urban habitats. This suggests that the synanthropic habits of the species are the most plausible explanation for the northwards shift of the range limits of Hypsugo savii. © 2016 The Mammal Society and John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Source

Verovnik R.,University of Ljubljana | Govedic M.,Center for Cartography of Fauna and Flora | Salamun A.,Center for Cartography of Fauna and Flora
Journal of Insect Conservation

Slovenia has one of the most extensive Natura 2000 networks in Europe with 259 SAC's covering 31.4% of the country. To determine how well does the current network cover the areas of high butterfly diversity and/or aggregation of the butterfly species of conservation concern, the data from the recent survey for a distribution atlas were used. Altogether 99,423 records of 173 species collated after 1979 were used. The data distribution is slightly biased towards SAC's, with 44.8% of localities within them, most likely due to sparsely sampled urban areas and intensive farmland areas which are found only outside SAC's. The diversity and distribution of red listed species was evaluated at a 5 × 5 km grid square level. Additionally the importance of the size of the SAC's was compared to their butterfly species diversity. In general the high diversity areas also hold the largest aggregation of red listed species with core areas concentrated in SW Slovenia. The SAC's cover majority of areas with high diversity and the distribution of all but one threatened butterfly species. That species is Colias myrmidone, which is now considered extinct in Slovenia with no records after 1993. The most prominent areas with high conservation value in Slovenia not included in the SAC's network are the Koroška region, Goriška Brda region, lower Sava River valley and Slovenske Gorice region. The butterfly diversity in small SAC's is relatively high with increases in size only gradually increasing the species numbers, thus emphasizing the importance and conservation value of small SAC's for sustaining high butterfly diversity in Slovenia. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. Source

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