Urban Ecosystems

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 333–345 | Cite as

Urban areas as hot-spots for introduced and shelters for native isopod species

  • Ferenc Vilisics
  • Elizabeth Hornung


Isopod assemblages were studied in Budapest, capital of Hungary. The analyses of literary and field data revealed a high species richness (28 species), compared to the total species number (57) in Hungary. Habitats characteristics for the city were categorized as native forests, urban forests, gardens of Buda, gardens of Pest, public parks, densely built-up areas and botanical gardens. We hypothesized that isolated and diverse habitat patches in the city matrix of Budapest support the introduction and establishment of exotic species and the survival of native ones. The composition of assemblages varied among sampling sites, but were characteristic for the biotope categories. We concluded that forests, parks and gardens play an important role in the survival of native isopod populations. Species numbers were highest in the gardens of Buda and in the botanical gardens (both 17 species). The overall presence of cosmopolitan and disturbance-tolerant species indicates an ongoing homogenization process.


Soil fauna Woodlice Urban biodiversity Species introduction Taxonomic uniformity 



The Hungarian National Research Fund (OTKA T 43508) supported our research. We appreciate the serious and detailed comments, suggestions and the linguistic help of our referees and of Mr. Justin Goldberg that highly improved the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Veterinary Science, Institute for BiologySzent István UniversityBudapestHungary

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