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You are here: Home / Library / RBINS Staff Publications / Patterns of habitat occupancy, genetic variation and predicted movement of a flightless bush cricket, Pholidoptera griseoaptera, in an agricultural mosaic landscape

T. Diekotter, H. Baveco, P. Arens, C. Rothenbuhler, R. Billeter, D. Csencsics, R. De Filippi, F. Hendrickx, M. Speelmans, P. Opdam and M. Smulders (2010)

Patterns of habitat occupancy, genetic variation and predicted movement of a flightless bush cricket, Pholidoptera griseoaptera, in an agricultural mosaic landscape

Landscape Ecology, 25(3):449-461.

Habitat fragmentation has been generally regarded detrimental to the persistence of many species, especially those with limited dispersal abilities. Yet, when exactly habitat elements become functionally disconnected very much depends on the dispersal ability of a species in combination with the landscape's composition in which it occurs. Surprisingly, for many small and ground-walking generalists knowledge at what spatial scale and to what extent landscape structure affects dispersal is very scarce. Because it is flightless, the bush cricket Pholidoptera griseoaptera may be regarded susceptible to fragmentation. We applied habitat occupancy surveys, population genetic analyses and movement modelling to investigate the performance of P. griseoaptera in an agricultural mosaic landscape with suitable habitat patches of varying size and isolation. Despite its presumed dispersal limitation we could show that P. griseoaptera occupied the majority of suitable habitats, including small and isolated patches, showed a very low and non-significant genetic differentiation (F (ST) = 0.0072) and, in the model, managed to colonize around 73\% of all suitable habitat patches within one generation under weak and strong landscape-effect scenarios. We conclude that P. griseoaptera possesses the behavioural attributes (frequent inter-patch dispersal) necessary to persist in this landscape characterized by a patchy distribution of habitat elements. Yet, sound recommendations to landscape planning and conservation require more research to determine whether this represents a general behaviour of the species or a behavioural adaptation to this particular landscape.

Diekoetter, Tim Baveco, Hans Arens, Paul Rothenbuehler, Carmen Billeter, Regula Csencsics, Daniela De Filippi, Riccardo Hendrickx, Frederik Speelmans, Marjan Opdam, Paul Smulders, Marinus J. M.

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