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Open Access Distribution of millipedes (Myriapoda, Diplopoda) along a forest interior – forest edge – grassland habitat complex

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We studied the distribution of millipedes in a forest interior-forest edge-grassland habitat complex in the Hajdúság Landscape Protection Area (NE Hungary). The habitat types were as follows: (1) lowland oak forest, (2) forest edge with increased ground vegetation and shrub cover, and (3) mesophilous grassland. We collected millipedes by litter and soil sifting. There were overall 30 sifted litter and soil samples: 3 habitat types × 2 replicates × 5 soil and litter samples per habitats. We collected 9 millipede species; the most abundant species was Glomeris tetrasticha, which was the most abundant species in the forest edge as well. The most abundant species in the forest interior was Kryphioiulus occultus, while the most abundant species in the grassland was Megaphyllum unilineatum. Our result showed that the number of millipede species was significantly lower in the grassland than in the forest or in the edge, however there were no significant difference in the number of species between the forest interior and the forest edge. We found significantly the highest number of millipede individuals in the forest edge. There were differences in the composition of the millipede assemblages of the three habitats. The results of the DCCA showed that forest edge and forest interior habitats were clearly separated from the grassland habitats. The forest edge habitat was characterized by high air temperature, high soil moisture, high soil pH, high soil enzyme activity, high shrub cover and low canopy cover. The IndVal and the DCCA methods revealed the following character species of the forest edge habitats: Glomeris tetrasticha and Leptoiulus cibdellus. Changes in millipede abundance and composition were highly correlated with the vegetation structure.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2015

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