, Volume 70, Issue 8, pp 1118–1135 | Cite as

Aphids in jeopardy? Aphid communities on xerothermic habitats

  • Barbara OsiadaczEmail author
  • Roman Hałaj


The aim of this project was to characterize the aphid groups closely, relating to xerothermic plant assemblages (Festuco-Brometea class) and identifing the aphid species diagnostic for this type of community (aphidocoenosis). The paper represents the first attempt to classify the aphid communities distributed in one type of particular habitat at a country-level scale. The research involved quantitative and qualitative sampling, conducted at 23 xerothermic study sites in 7 regions (belonging to 3 geographical provinces of Central Europe), for three years. Among the 187 aphid species collected, 91 were determined to be closely associated with xerothermic habitats. Of these, 32 were considered to be diagnostic in recognizing xerothermic aphid communities. The xerothermic habitats in question proved to be diverse, with a high value of Shannon’s index (Pielou’s eveness index) (85.95%). The diagnostic species formed a characteristic species community, varying between the regions of the studied areas. This was confirmed by a statistical analysis of similarities based on Ward’s method. Frequency analyses indicate that many aphids related to xerothermic habitats are scarce locally and rare on a regional spatial scale. They exhibit a narrow geographical range and a narrow ecological amplitude and thus can be described as unique on a global scale.

Key words

aphids aphidocoenosis biodiversity frequency analyses rarity sampling species list 


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The authors would like to thank Dr. Jacek Szwedo (Department of Invertebrate Zoology and Parasitology, University of Gdansk) for valuable remarks and discussions during preparation of this paper, and Dr. Colin Favret (Department of Biological Sciences, University of Montreal), for all comments and language corrections.


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© Slovak Academy of Sciences 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Entomology and Environmental ProtectionPoznań University of Life SciencesPoznańPoland
  2. 2.The Upper Silesian Nature SocietyKatowicePoland

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