Species richness of some arthropod groups in highway rest areas in Hungary

Plant-covered highway margins and rest areas provide suitable habitats for a number of invertebrate species, however, biodiversity of highway verges is poorly studied in literature. In our previous works we have shown that typically 30-40 % of the Hungarian fauna can be found in highway verges in different arthropod taxa (e.g. orthoptera, heteroptera, araneae), but in exceptional cases, like in scale insects (Coccoidea) more than 50 % of the species occur in these special habitats. In seed beetles (Bruchinae), 29 out of the 36 species known from Hungary, were found in highway verges. In our project, 33 sampling sites were investigated along Hungarian highways in three different periods of the years (2011-2013). The presentation focuses on two taxa. Altogether close to 10.000 Auchenorrhyncha individuals were collected and identified, and 200 species, approximately 37 % of the Hungarian Auchenorrhyncha fauna, were found. 130; 97, 57 and 40 species were caught by sweep netting, suction sampling, branch beating and pitfall trapping, respectively. The dominant species by collecting methods were: sweep netting:  Philaenus spumarius (20,3%), Zyginidia pullula (9,2%), Euscelis incisus (6,2%); suction sampling:  Z. pullula (12,4%), Anaceratagallia ribauti (9,5%), Graphocraerus ventralis (9,4%), Turrutus socialis (9,4%); branch beating: Opsius stactogalus (44,0%), Liguropia juniperi (19,4%), P. spumarius (9,5%); pitfall trapping: Anoscopus serratulae (33,3 %), Aphrodes bicincta (20,1 %), Doratura homophyla (12,0 %). Three species (Liguropia juniperi, Opsius smaragdinus, Tamaricella tamaricis) were found for the first time in Hungary. L. juniperi was shown to be widespread in the country. In spiders, close 13000 individuals were caught, which belonged to 254 species, thus 35 % of the fauna was found. The three collecting methods applied for spiders have given similar species numbers (suction sampling: 108, branch beating: 115, pitfall trapping: 112), but highly different species composition. The dominant species by collecting methods were Trichoncus hasmani 10 % and Meioneta rurestris 9% (suction sampling), Ebrechtella tricuspidata 14,5 % (branch beating) and Xerolycosa miniata 11,3 %, Pardosa agrestis 9,1 % (pitfall trapping). Our results show that highway rest areas are species rich habitats in several arthropod taxa, and they also provide a good opportunity for monitoring changes in distribution areas of certain species.

The project was financed by Hungarian Scientific Research Fund (OTKA 83829).

road ecology; biodiversity; collecting methods; Auchenorrhyncha; Araneae