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The development of the orthopteran fauna of Kerstlingeroeder Feldes, Goettingen, in the years 1993 and 2001 to 2004 Zur Entwicklung der Heuschreckenfauna des Kerstlingeroeder Feldes, Goettingen, in den Jahren 1993 and 2001 bis 2004



The development of the orthopteran fauna of Kerstlingeroeder Feldes, Goettingen, in the years 1993 and 2001 to 2004 Zur Entwicklung der Heuschreckenfauna des Kerstlingeroeder Feldes, Goettingen, in den Jahren 1993 and 2001 bis 2004



Articulata, 202: 125-138



Oligotrophic grasslands belong to the most species rich habitats in Central Europe. This habitat is severely endangered and thus its conservation is important. The former military base Kerstlingeroeder Feld, located in the forest near the city of Goettingen, is such a valuable dry open area in the south of Lower Saxony. However, its vegetation is increasingly changing by succession and reafforestation. Orthopterans are particularly affected by this development since they are dependent on open land. Investigations on the orthopteran fauna from 2001-2004 and data from 1993 are used to characterize the assemblies and to point out changes in community structure. Altogether 14 species were found in the study period 1993 and 2001 to 2004. Records of Myrmeleotettix maculatus only exist from 1993, Stenobothrus lineatus was only found in 2001. On the other hand, Phaneroptera falcata was recorded from 2002 on. The disappearance of the species dependent on open ground and low vegetation as well as the appearance of species indicating advanced successional stages such as P. falcata and also Pholidoptera griseoaptera and Tettigonia viridissima is considered to be a consequence of continuous invasion of shrubs. Overall, the orthopteran cenosis is dominated by euryoecous species such as Chorthippus parallelus and Omocestus viridulus. Their populations are estimated to be made up of several hundreds of thousands of individuals on the 86 hectares of investigated area. In contrast xero- and thermophilous species such as Chorthippus brunneus and Tetrix bipunctata are limited to small remnants of xeric sites. It is predicted that these small, isolated populations will become extinct if no suitable management plans for sustaining the remaining oligotrophic grassland communities are implemented.

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