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Israel Journal of Zoology
  Issue:  Volume 51, Number 4 / 2005
  Pages:  331 - 348
  URL:  Linking Options

TEMPORAL RESPONSES OF SOIL INVERTEBRATE COMMUNITIES TO DRAUGHT STRESS IN TWO SEMIARID ECOSYSTEMS OF THE MEDITERRANEAN

Anastasios Legakis A1 and Chloe Adamopoulou A1

A1 Department of Biology, Zoological Museum, University of Athens, Panepistimioupolis, 15784 Athens, Greece

Abstract:

the soil invertebrate community of two Mediterranean ecosystems was studied on Milos Island, in the Aegean Sea: one a Mediterranean-type ecosystem and the other a dune ecosystem. Sampling of macrofauna was carried out for 19 months using pitfall traps. For mesofauna, 25 × 25 cm samples of litter were collected and processed in berlese-tullgern funnels. Specimens were identified to class or order level except for Coleoptera and Hymenoptera Formicidae, which were identified to family level, and the slugs, which included a number of families. Some taxa were identified to species level. Environmental data were also collected. the dominant groups were beetles, ants, and spiders. Diversity and evenness were low in spring and summer and high in autumn and winter in the dune site, and more or less at the same level throughout the year in the Mediterranean-type site. the three most common phenological patterns in both sites were a spring, a summer, and an autumn and winter peak. the composition of the fauna seemed to change along two large seasons, spring/summer vs. autumn/winter. Possible responses of the soil community to drought stress include lower diversity, especially in the dry season, short transitional periods between the dry and humid seasons, disap- pearance from the surface during the dry season, dispersal when favorable conditions appear, rapid development of juveniles and short life span of adults of the thermophilous species, longer development of juveniles and life span “tuned” to the end of the favorable season for the psychrophilous species, and horizontal movements within a site.


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