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The response of Orthoptera to grazing on flood defense embankments in Europe

By Kimberley Fargeaud and Tim Gardiner


European flood defense embankments form an excellent habitat for Orthoptera. To be effective against storms, these vegetated earth embankments have to be managed by grazing or mowing. However, grazing can impact invertebrates such as grasshoppers and crickets (Orthoptera). This management can lead to dispersal toward undisturbed grassland and reductions in the quality of habitat, food resources and oviposition sites. In most cases, orthopteran insects require heterogeneous vegetation patches with swards of varying height. The impact of grazing depends on the type of livestock; it is very important to choose appropriate animals, timing and intensity. Sheep grazing in late summer (September-October) at a moderate intensity seems to be favorable for Orthoptera. If grazing is carefully monitored, it can promote Orthoptera conservation while maintaining flood defense integrity

Topics: Zoology, QL1-991
Publisher: Pensoft Publishers
Year: 2018
DOI identifier: 10.3897/jor.27.25183
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