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Glaser F.,Technisches Buro fur Biologie | Lush M.J.,ExeGesIS SDM Ltd. | Seifert B.,Senckenberg Museum fur Naturkunde Gorlitz
Myrmecological News | Year: 2010

The inquiline ant Myrmica myrmicoxena FOREL, 1895 had not been found since itsfirst discovery from the Alp Anzeindaz (Switzerland) in 1869. Two new sites have been discovered in Switzerland (Eggishorn, Fiesch, 2,213 m a.s.l.) in 2009 and Northern Italy (Laas, South Tyrol, 1,700 m a.s.l.) in 2006. The species inhabits subalpine, short-turfedgrassland. Myrmica lobulicornis NYLANDER, 1857 seems to be the main and probably exclusive host species, which is supported by field data and vertical distribution. Morphometric data from all three sites of M. myrmicoxena are presented and com-pared. There exists no obvious morphological difference between the material from the locus typicus and the specimens from the two new sites. Source

Zulka K.P.,University of Vienna | Zulka K.P.,Environment Agency Austria | Abensperg-Traun M.,University of Vienna | Milasowszky N.,University of Vienna | And 17 more authors.
Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment | Year: 2014

According to island biogeography theory, the species richness of patches is determined by their size and spatial isolation, while in conservation practice, it is patch quality that determines protection and guides management. We analysed whether size, isolation or habitat quality are most important for the species richness in a set of 50 dry grassland fragments in agricultural landscapes of eastern Austria. We studied two plant taxa (vascular plants, bryophytes) and 11 invertebrate taxa (gastropods, spiders, springtails, grasshoppers, true bugs, leafhoppers and planthoppers, ground beetles, rove beetles, butterflies and burnets, ants and wild bees). The species richness of three categories was analysed: (1) dry grassland specialist species, (2) all grassland species and (3) all species. We used regression and hierarchical partitioning techniques to determine the relationship between species richness and environmental variables describing patch size and shape, patch quality, landscape configuration and landscape quality. The area-isolation paradigm was only applicable for dry grassland specialists, which comprised 12% of all species. Richness of all grassland species was determined mostly by landscape heterogeneity parameters. Total species richness was highly influenced by spillover from adjacent biotopes, and was significantly determined by the percentage of arable land bordering the patches. When analysing all taxa together, species richness of dry grassland specialists was significantly related to historical patch size but not to current patch size, indicating an extinction debt. At the landscape scale, the variable 'short-grass area' was a better predictor than the less specific variable 'area of extensively used landscape elements'. 'Distance to mainland' was a good predictor for specialists of mobile animal taxa. Plant specialists showed a pronounced dependence on quality measures at the patch scale and at the landscape scale, whereas animal specialists were influenced by patch size, patch quality, landscape quality and isolation measures. None of the taxa benefited from linear structures in the surroundings. In conclusion, high patch quality and a network of high-quality areas in the surrounding landscape should be the best conservation strategy to ensure conservation of dry grassland specialists. This goal does not conflict with the specific demands of single taxa. © 2013 The Authors. Source

Schiestl F.P.,University of Zurich | Glaser F.,Technisches Buro fur Biologie
Alpine Botany | Year: 2012

Several studies have recently shown that floral scent can deter ants from flowers. However, when ants serve as reliable pollen vectors, for example in harsh, windy habitats, were flying insects are less active, plants should have evolved floral signals to attract them to the flowers. We tested this hypothesis in the alpine orchid, Chamorchis alpina. C. alpina was found to be predominantly ant pollinated, with some occasional pollination by ichneumonid wasps. In all three investigated populations, only two species of ants, Formica lemani and Leptothorax acervorum visited the flowers and removed pollinaria. These two pollinator ants were found to be among the most common ant species in all habitats, but other, non-pollinating ants were also frequently found, suggesting a factor that mediates specific pollination. Floral morphology was found to be compatible with at least one of the common non-pollinator ants. Floral scent consistently comprised five terpenoid compounds, β-phellandrene, 1,8-cineole, linalool, α-terpineol, and β-caryophyllene. A synthetic blend of these five compounds emitting from rubber septa, was found to be attractive to one pollinator ant-species, F. lemani, in the field. The floral scent of C. alpina, through attracting only specific ants, may thus play a role in filtering floral visitors. © 2011 Swiss Botanical Society. Source

Sztatecsny M.,University of Vienna | Glaser F.,Technisches Buro fur Biologie
Herpetological Journal | Year: 2011

Chytridiomycosis is a fungal disease that has been made responsible for amphibian declines around the globe. We found the causative agent of the disease, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, at six amphibian breeding sites in the eastern lowlands of Austria and four in the western parts of the country (30% of all sampled sites), including the highest record for the European Alps to date at 1630 m a.s.l. Nine amphibian species were infected, and metamorphosing Bombina bombina had the highest prevalence (40%). No individual showed obvious signs of disease, but our data are insufficient to draw any conclusions on disease-associated effects. Source

Aquatic Neuroptera in Europe are represented with 17 species in 3 families; Osmylidae, Sisyridae and Nevrorthidae. Four species are known from Croatia, Osmylus fulvicephalus, Sisyra bureschi, Sisyra nigra and Sisyra terminalis. Their faunistics and distribution in Croatia are given in this paper. Source

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