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      Effects of ecological flooding on the temporal and spatial dynamics of carabid beetles (Coleoptera, Carabidae) and springtails (Collembola) in a polder habitat

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          Abstract

          Abstract

          Within the scope of the Integrated Rhine Program an ecological flood gate and channel was inserted into the polder “Ingelheim” to enhance animal and plant diversity. In 2008, carabid beetles and springtails were collected, using pitfall traps, to measure the effects of ecological flooding and a strong precipitation event at a flood-disturbed and a dry location in this area. At both localities, xerophilic and mesophilic carabid beetle species were dominant throughout the study period. The total number of individuals of hygrophilic species was comparatively constant, while species number increased, partly due to the changed moisture conditions caused by ecological flooding and strong precipitation. Carabid beetle diversity and evenness decreased marginally when ecological flooding was absent. Springtails represent a less mobile arthropod order, and as such the impact of ecological flooding was stronger. An increase in both numbers of species and individuals of hygrophilic and hygrotolerant species occurred in the flood-disturbed location after ecological flooding. After the sites at both locations had dried, the number of individuals belonging to these species declined rapidly. In contrast to carabid species, the strong precipitation event showed no influence on hygrophilic springtail species. Thus, collembolan diversity and evenness decreased markedly in the absence of flooding. We showed that ecological flooding has an influence on the spatial and temporal dynamics of different arthropod groups that inhabit the polder “Ingelheim”. These findings demonstrate the importance of using different arthropod groups as bioindicators in determining the ecological value of a particular polder design.

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          Bottom-up control of carabid beetle communities in early successional wetlands: mediated by vegetation structure or plant diversity?

           U Brose (2003)
          Two hypotheses of bottom-up control that predict that the species richness of Carabidae will depend either on the taxonomic diversity of plants ("taxonomic diversity hypothesis") or on the structural heterogeneity of the vegetation ("structural heterogeneity hypothesis") were tested. Plant species were classified into nine plant structural groups through cluster analysis of morphological traits (e.g. total height) at 30 early successional temporary wetlands in the east-German agricultural landscape. In a linear regression analysis, the heterogeneity of vegetation structures explained 55% of the variation in carabid beetle diversity. According to a partial correlation analysis, plant taxonomic diversity did not have a significant effect, consistent with the "structural heterogeneity hypothesis," and contradicting previous studies which concluded that plant taxonomic diversity would be the most important factor in early successional habitats. An experimental study was used to test hypotheses on the processes underlying this bottom-up control by vegetation structure: the "hunting efficiency hypothesis," the "enemy-free space hypothesis," and the "microhabitat specialization hypothesis." The composition of plant structural groups in 15 vegetation plots (1 m(2)) was manipulated, creating a gradient from dense vegetation to open plots. Subsequent pitfall catches revealed significant differences in the activity-abundances of the carabid species. Large species preferred dense vegetation plots, consistent with the enemy-free space hypothesis that large species are more vulnerable to predation on the open plots and prefer dense vegetation to escape from natural enemies. The results indicate that bottom-up control is not mediated only by plant taxonomic or functional group diversity and that vegetation structures may be more important than previously suggested.
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            The significance of flood regimes for carabid beetle and spider communities in riparian habitats?a comparison of three major rivers in Germany

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              Long-term reactions of plants and macroinvertebrates to extreme floods in floodplain grasslands.

              Extreme summertime flood events are expected to become more frequent in European rivers due to climate change. In temperate areas, where winter floods are common, extreme floods occurring in summer, a period of high physiological activity, may seriously impact floodplain ecosystems. Here we report on the effects of the 2002 extreme summer flood on flora and fauna of the riverine grasslands of the Middle Elbe (Germany), comparing pre- and post-flooding data collected by identical methods. Plants, mollusks, and carabid beetles differed considerably in their response in terms of abundance and diversity. Plants and mollusks, displaying morphological and behavioral adaptations to flooding, showed higher survival rates than the carabid beetles, the adaptation strategies of which were mainly linked to life history. Our results illustrate the complexity of responses of floodplain organisms to extreme flood events. They demonstrate that the efficiency of resistance and resilience strategies is widely dependent on the mode of adaptation.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Zookeys
                ZooKeys
                ZooKeys
                Pensoft Publishers
                1313-2989
                1313-2970
                2011
                20 May 2011
                : 100
                : 421-446
                Affiliations
                [ ]Johannes Gutenberg-University, Institute of Zoology/Dep. IV, Soil Zoology and Ecology, Becherweg 13, 55099
                Author notes
                Corresponding author: Tanja Lessel ( lesselt@ 123456students.uni-mainz.de ), Michael Thomas Marx ( marxm1@ 123456students.uni-mainz.de ), Gerhard Eisenbeis ( ).

                Academic editor: DJ Kotze

                Article
                10.3897/zookeys.100.1538
                3131029
                21738425
                Tanja Lessel, Michael Thomas Marx, Gerhard Eisenbeis

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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