, Volume 66, Issue 3, pp 499–505 | Cite as

Small scale gradient effects on isopods (Crustacea: Oniscidea) in karstic sinkholes

  • Ferenc VilisicsEmail author
  • Péter Sólymos
  • Antal Nagy
  • Roland Farkas
  • Zita Kemencei
  • Elisabeth Hornung


We studied abundance and diversity patterns of terrestrial isopod assemblages along a ‘micro-scale’ vertical gradient in sinkholes in the Aggtelek National Park, Hungary. Time restricted manual sampling yielded ten native species, including endemic and rare ones. Along the gradient we found no major differences in species richness and -composition, and abundance decreased from the bottoms to the upper zones of the sinkholes. Species specific habitat preference on a vertical gradient showed two distinct groups by indicator species analysis: occurrence of habitat “generalists” was irrespective of vertical zones while “specialists” were restricted to the bottoms of the dolines. The latter group is formed mainly by rare species. We found that both diversity and evenness of isopod assemblages were highest in the bottom zone. Our results draw the attention to the significance of such common, yet undiscovered surficial depressions that can provide shelters for rare and specialist species and can provide shelter for survival of populations under changing climatic conditions.

Key words

diversity woodlice zonation biodiversity assessment abundance species richness Aggtelek National Park 


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Copyright information

© © Versita Warsaw and Springer-Verlag Wien 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ferenc Vilisics
    • 1
    Email author
  • Péter Sólymos
    • 1
    • 2
  • Antal Nagy
    • 3
  • Roland Farkas
    • 4
  • Zita Kemencei
    • 1
  • Elisabeth Hornung
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for BiologySzent István University, Faculty of Veterinary ScienceBudapestHungary
  2. 2.Department of Biological SciencesAlberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute, University of AlbertaEdmonton ABCanada
  3. 3.Institute of Plant ProtectionUniversity of Debrecen, Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental ManagementDebrecenHungary
  4. 4.Aggtelek National Park DirectorateJósvafőHungary

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