Eusébio, R., Enghoff, H., Solodovnikov, A., Michelsen, A., Barranco, P., Salgado, J.M., Sendra, A. & Reboleira, A.S.P.S. (2021) Temporal and spatial dynamics of arthropod groups in terrestrial subsurface habitats in central Portugal.Zoology, 147, 125931. DOI:10.1016/j.zool.2021.125931 (IF2021 2,027; Q2 Zoology)
The mesovoid shallow substratum (MSS) can act as a climatic refuge for invertebrates, as a biogeographic corridor to deeper substrates or as a permanent habitat for some species. This study characterizes the seasonal invertebrate diversity and abundance of MSS ecosystems in central Portugal focusing on Diplopoda, Diplura, Orthoptera and Coleoptera during one year. Sampling was performed with standard MSS pitfalls in scree slopes (colluvial MSS) of karst areas and environmental parameters (temperature, pH, conductivity, water content, organic carbon, nitrate, phosphate and ammonium) were quantified. Our results show that winter was the season with the highest arthropod abundance and that the MSS acts as a permanent habitat for chordeumatidan millipedes and as a climatic refuge for orthopterans and most beetles. All Diplura collected belong to a single species known previously from surface habitats in the Iberian Peninsula, which does not seem to use the Portuguese MSS as a refuge. MSS habitats in central Portugal, classified as western Mediterranean and thermophile deposits protected by the Natura 2000 network based on plant communities and geology, revealed an abundant and diverse invertebrate community that urges characterization and protection.