European grassland ecosystems: threatened hotspots of biodiversity

  title={European grassland ecosystems: threatened hotspots of biodiversity},
  author={Jan Christian Habel and J{\"u}rgen Dengler and Monika Jani{\vs}ov{\'a} and P{\'e}ter T{\"o}r{\"o}k and Camilla Wellstein and Michal Wiezik},
  journal={Biodiversity and Conservation},
Biodiversity is not homogenously distributed over the globe, and ecosystems differ strongly in the number of species they provide. With this special issue we highlight the ecology and endangerment of one of the most diverse ecosystem of Europe: the European grassland ecosystems. The selected 16 contributions describe interactions from below-ground to the atmosphere and focus on (1) effects of abiotic and biotic on species diversity, (2) the impact of various factors along spatial and temporal… 

Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment Biodiversity of Palaearctic grasslands: a synthesis

This article introduces a Special Issue on biodiversity of Palaearctic grasslands and provides a synthe- sis of the current knowledge on this topic. Four major categories of grasslands can be

Small-scale drivers on plant and ant diversity in a grassland habitat through a multifaceted approach

The results show that taxonomic and functional diversity of plant and ant communities are influenced by the environment, and imply that small-scale monitoring is needed to effectively conserve priority habitats, especially for those that comprise multiple microhabitats.

Long‐term species loss and homogenization of moth communities in Central Europe

A dramatic rate of regional species loss and homogenization of community compositions across sites was revealed and the contrasting effects of climate change and land use changes could explain why the predicted enriching effects from climate warming are not always realized.

Biodiversity of Palaearctic grasslands: a synthesis

Asymmetrical responses of forest and “beyond edge” arthropod communities across a forest–grassland ecotone

Historically, where forest habitats are deemed as the pristine landscape state, anthropogenic habitats such as managed grasslands or open spaces are often perceived to be antagonistic and of

Ecology and Conservation of Steppes and Semi-Natural Grasslands

Abstract Palaearctic grasslands encompass a diverse variety of habitats, many of high nature value and vulnerability. The main challenges are climate-change, land-use change, agricultural

Fragmentation in calcareous grasslands: species specialization matters

It is shown that habitat fragmentation affects both species richness, species composition and trait composition of plants and hoppers, indicating that fragmentation leads not only to a loss of species, but also alters dominance hierarchies and the functionality of grassland communities.



Global Biodiversity Conservation: The Critical Role of Hotspots

Global changes, from habitat loss and invasive species to anthropogenic climate change, have initiated the sixth great mass extinction event in Earth’s history. As species become threatened and

Grasslands as habitats for butterflies in Europe

Butterflies are considered as indicators of the invertebrate diversity in European grasslands: they have been studied for ecologists to have knowledge of their distribution status and ecological

Biodiversity Hotspots: Distribution and Protection of Conservation Priority Areas

Biodiversity and its conservation are among the main global topics in science and politics and perhaps the major challenge for the present and coming generations. This book written by international

Assessing the impact of land abandonment, nitrogen enrichment and fairy-ring fungi on plant diversity of Mediterranean grasslands

It is shown that fairy-ring fungi critically affect the spatial distribution and diversity of coexisting plant species in species-rich grassland, and nitrogen enrichment at levels comparable to atmospheric deposition depresses species diversity, which hampers the positive effects of litter removal.

Edge effect of a pine plantation reduces dry grassland invertebrate species richness

Edge effects on species richness were investigated at an ecotone from a pine plantation to a short-grass steppe in Eastern Austria for eleven invertebrate taxa differentiated into habitat guilds based on known live-history strategies of individual species, including Red-Listed and non-threatened grassland species.

Species diversity and life history traits in calcareous grasslands vary along an urbanization gradient

Calcareous grasslands are among the most species-rich plant communities in Europe with a particularly high nature conservation value. During the past centuries their distribution has markedly

Advances in the conservation of dry grasslands: Introduction to contributions from the seventh European Dry Grassland Meeting

Abstract Dry grasslands in Europe are mostly of zoo-anthropogenic origin, but nevertheless they are among the most diverse plant communities of the world at small spatial scales, and they support a

Plant species richness: the world records

Very high richness at any spatial grain is found only in two particular habitat/community types, and these high richness values form a very strong, consistent pattern, not greatly affected by the method of sampling, and this pattern extrapolates amazingly well.

The effects of grassland management and aspect on Orthoptera diversity and abundance: site conditions are as important as management

The results suggest that grazing is a more suitable management for maintaining a high biodiversity in calcareous grasslands than mowing, and the mesoclimate is a crucial factor determining species richness and needs to be considered in reserve planning.