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The Green Belt as a European Ecological Network strengths and gaps

The Green Belt as a European Ecological Network strengths and gaps

Schlumprecht, H., Laube,

Schlumprecht, H., Laube, J. MONITORING BIODIVERSITY OF THE THURINGIAN GREEN BELT 2.2 Animal species 2.2.1 Grasshoppers and locusts At the seven areas of the Green Belt surveyed in 2010 and 2011 a total of 21 grasshopper species were detected. The site with most species (15 species) was the dry grassland of the monitoring area ID 15. The area with least species was the area ID 30 (moist tall herbaceous fringe), see table 3. Three threatened species of the Red List Thuringia (2011) were detected, namely Conocephalus discolor, Stethophyma grossum and Polysarcus denticauda. According the German Red List [9], two threatened grasshoppers were detected (Stenobothrus lineatus: near threatened; and Polysarcus denticauda: endangered). 2.2.2 Butterflies 60 butterflies and four Zygaenidae species were observed in the seven monitoring areas of 2010 and 2011. The area ID 15 (oligotrophic semi-dry grassland, grazed by sheep) had the highest species number with 47 species. As for grasshoppers, the wet tall herb stands at ID 30 (cool and shady valley) was poorest in species number. 12 butterfly- and Zygaenidae-species of the Red List Thuringia were detected. One of this species is listed as critically endangered (Glanville Fritillary - Melitaea cinxia), one species is endangered (Large Tortoiseshell - Nymphalis polychloros), and 10 species are listed as vulnerable. A considerable larger number of threatened species of the Red List Germany (1998) [10] was surveyed, as many nearly threatened species of the Red List Germany could be found on the monitoring areas (see table 3). Two of the butterflies are endangered, 12 are vulnerable and 19 are nearly threatened, according [10]. 2.2.3 Birds Bird species were evaluated by territorial mapping (according to [11]) and the creation of territorial maps in ArcGIS9.3. The method defines a territory (confirmed or probably breeding) if a species showed at least at two survey dates territorial behaviour, or proof of juveniles, or feed carrying adults. In total 57 bird species were observed at the monitoring sites. The monitoring area with the highest number of bird species is ID 15 (grazed oligotrophic grassland, 33 breeding birds), the site with least species are the scrubby fractions of dry grassland ID 2 (20 species). In total 18 bird species of the Red List Thuringia [7], the Red List Germany [11] or the Birds Directive were detected (see table 3). Monitoring areas without valuable bird species did not occur (in average 4.6 valuable bird species per monitoring area occurred, minimum 2 species, maximum 11 species), which shows the high ornithological value of the monitoring sites and the high importance of the Green Belt. 40

Schlumprecht, H., Laube, J. MONITORING BIODIVERSITY OF THE THURINGIAN GREEN BELT Table 3: Species richness of grasshoppers, butterflies, and birds Numbers of species according Red List of Thuringia; in brackets (G: ) according Red List of Germany Number of Red List Number of Red List grasshopper Grass- butterfly butterfly Bird Red List ID Land use species hoppers species species species birds 2 No use 11 (G: 1) 43 4 (G:18) 20 2 (G: 5) 9 No use Cattle 9 21 2 (G: 5) 22 1 (G: 4) 10 grazing Cattle 10 33 2 (G:12) 24 0 (G: 2) 12 grazing Sheep 7 30 2 (G:10) 26 3 (G: 4) 15 grazing Goat 15 2 (G: 2) 47 7 (G:24) 33 6 (G: 11) 24 grazing 9 26 3 (G: 10) 23 3 (G: 4) 30 No use 8 19 1 (G: 4) 25 1 (G: 2) 3 DISCUSSION 3.1 Threatened plant species and land use types At the monitoring sites there is a clear dependence between the land use type and the occurrence of threatened species, see Table 4. Generally, most endangered species occur in biotopes grazed by cattle or sheep (51 occurrences of threatened species). A high number of rare species can also be found in biotopes without current use or management (39 occurrences), less species are found in biotopes that are mown or cleared (6 and 3 occurrences). The high number of endangered species occurring in unused biotopes is however misleading, as missing land use is only favourable to a certain extent of shrub encroachment. Habitats with higher amounts of shrub cover (level 5 and onwards, i.e. 40 % shrub cover) were mostly not mapped as valuable biotopes, and threatened species are seldom. It is hence very likely that rare plant species actually occurring at unused biotopes disappear in the future if succession to young forests continues. Table 4: Number of rare plant species by land use type and shrub cover Degree of shrub cover Grazing No usage Mowing Post clearing Sum 0: 0 or not noteworthy 8 6 3 17 1: up to 10 % 29 6 3 3 41 2: up to 20 % 8 8 16 3: up to 30 % 4 13 17 4: up to 40 % 1 6 7 5: up to 50 % 6: up to 60 % 1 1 7: up to 67 % Sum 51 39 6 3 99 For 20 out of the total number of 41 rare species the database BIOLFLOR [12] lists grazing and mowing tolerances (each from 1: no tolerance to 9: completely tolerant). A value 41

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