Hotspots and richness pattern of grasshopper species in cultural landscapes

Steck, Claude E.; B├╝rgi, Matthias; Coch, Thomas; Duelli, Peter
June 2007
Biodiversity & Conservation;Jun2007, Vol. 16 Issue 7, p2075
Academic Journal
The success of the hotspot approach for biodiversity conservation depends on the spatial scale and the indicator species used. In this study, we investigated grasshopper species richness in Switzerland at a 1 ha resolution including a total of 111 species. We compared the representativeness of common and of endangered grasshopper species for the overall grasshopper species richness and we assessed the efficiency of the hotspot approach for grasshopper conservation. The pattern of overall grasshopper species richness was well represented by both the number of common and the number of endangered grasshopper species. For evaluating the efficiency of different hotspot approaches for conservation, we compared hotspots of common species, hotspots of endangered species (rarity hotspots), and hotspots of all grasshopper species (richness hotspots). Among these hotspot types, richness hotspots not only featured most common grasshopper species, but they even contained more endangered species than the rarity hotspots. The combination of rarity hotspots and hotspots of common species featured more species than the other combinations of hotspot types. However, the gain of combining two hotspot types compared to the single-hotspot approach was low (max. 3 species). About 24% of the species were not contained in any of the hotspots. These grasshopper species require species-specific action plans. As rarity hotspots were located in areas that are rather strongly affected by landscape change, species richness in rarity hotspots may decrease in the future. We conclude that, for grasshoppers, the hotspot approach on the 1 ha scale can be an effective way to conserve a high proportion of species richness.


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