, Volume 61, Issue 5, pp 573-578

Caterpillar (Lepidoptera) communities on European Turkey oak (Quercus cerris) in Malé Karpaty Mts (SW Slovakia)

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Abstract

Between 2000–2002, the structure of communities of lepidopteran larvae was studied in leaf bearing crowns of Quercus cerris in the central and northern part of the Malé Karpaty Mts (SW Slovakia). Caterpillars were collected using the beating method in four study plots. In total, 58 species were found. The families Geometridae, Noctuidae and Tortricidae comprised the highest number of species found. The family Geometridae comprised the highest number of pests. The most abundant species for individual plots were Lymantria dispar, Operophtera brumata, Ypsolopha alpella and Cyclophora ruficiliaria. Most of the recorded species belonged to the trophic group of generalists (39 species). Shannon-Wiener’s diversity index and Pielou’s equitability (evenness) value indicated there were marked differences between the Horný háj study plot (an insular forest with ants as the predators of caterpillars) and other plots. The main ecological gradient along DCA-1 related to the host specificity of caterpillars and consisted of three groups: (a) polyphagous species; (b) specialist species feeding chiefly on oaks or exclusively on oaks and (c) species preferring some oak species, mainly Q. cerris. The fragmentation of growth was identified along DCA-2.