Biodiversity & Conservation

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 1497–1508 | Cite as

Do Orthoptera Need Human Land use in Central Europe? The Role of Habitat Patch Size and Linear Corridors in the Białowieża Forest, Poland

  • Jörn TheuerkaufEmail author
  • Sophie Rouys


We studied Orthoptera, Dermaptera, and Blattodea of the Białowieża Forest (Poland) in order to assess (1) the minimum patch size of open habitat necessary for each species, (2) the role of linear corridors as habitat, and (3) the impact of herbivores on diversity by comparing the fauna at periods of different ungulate densities. Many species occurred in the farthest clearings from the forest edge to arable land. Two third of species occurred in clearings smaller than 10,000 m2. Dry linear corridors of 10–40 m width and wet linear corridors of 100–200 m width had a species richness that corresponded to that of clearings of about 10,000 m2. Four species disappeared from the Białowieża Forest when ungulate density decreased from 20 individuals/km2 (3000 kg/km2 biomass) at the beginning of the 20th century to 10 individuals/km2 (1000 kg/km2) at the end of the 20th century. We conclude that most Orthoptera, Dermaptera, and Blattodea species could survive in Central Europe if human land use was replaced by intensive grazing and browsing by wild herbivores.


Blattodea Dermaptera Habitat size Road corridors Herbivores Marsh corridors Orthoptera 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Museum and Institute of ZoologyPolish Academy of SciencesWarsawPoland
  2. 2.Marine Laboratory for Environmental Resource StudiesUniversity of New CaledoniaNouméa CedexNew Caledonia
  3. 3.Jörn TheuerkaufNouméa CedexNew Caledonia

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