Seasonal population dynamics of Brachyiulus jawlowskii (Diplopoda, Julidae) in the Dnieper river arena


  • N. G. Gudym Oles Honchar Dnipropetrovsk National University
Keywords: population dynamics, metapopulation, cenopopulation, biotopical range

Abstract

We have researched the population dynamics of Brachyiulus jawlowskii Lohmander, 1928 in the arena of the Dnepr river (within the "Dnieper-Orilsky” Nature Reserve) and also present a full picture of the habitat distribution of Julidae within the researched area. The tested models were basic types of arena biogeocenosis: sand steppe, black maple forests, artificial pine plantations, deciduous forest, meadow and swamp. Variation in population density of B. jawlowskii is determined by biotopical features. The swamp and meadow habitats can be characterized by the highest level of population dynamics. B. jawlowskii plays the greatest role in the herpetobiont grouping in swamp and oak forest habitats (6.7% and 4.6% respectively). In other types of habitat this species composes 0.1–3.5% of the total abundance of this group. The highest abundance dynamic was reached by the Julidae cenopopulations which inhabit the swamp, oak forest and meadow habitats. B. jawlowskii occupies a relatively significant share in the herpetobiont communities of these habitats. Thus, the indicators of absolute number of this species and its relative participation in the herpertobiont grouping indicate the preference of this species for marsh, oak forest and meadow habitats. These habitats can be characterized by an excessive or moderate level of edaphotopic humidification. The ecosystem of the steppe zone of Ukraine is subject to significant human impact. In nature reserves, this effect is minimized, which permits research to be conducted on regimes of natural population dynamics. We established that B. jawlowskii inhabits all habitats investigated within the arena zone of the Dnepr river. This indicates that this is an environmentally flexible Julidae species. The population dynamics of B. jawlowskii can be characterized by three distinct periods: spring-summer, summer and autumn. Each of these periods is characterized by a distinct population dynamic, but throughout the study period the metapopulation of B. jawlowskii remained stable. This is due to the redistribution of representatives of the biotopical metapopulation over a wide range. The conservation regime within the "Dnieper-Orilsky" Nature Reserve had a positively effect on the state of the B. jawlowskii population. Within the reserve on the territory of the arena of the Dnepr river B. jawlowskii uses a wide variety of types of habitats. 

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Published
2016-06-19
Section
Articles