Invertebrates as a biological monitoring object in Białowieża Primeval Forest
An Invertebrate monitoring project has been conducted in Białowieża Primeval Forest since 1988. The main goal of the project is to determine the long term population dynamics and community compositions of particular invertebrate groups of lowland temperate forests. A secondary goal is to test for correlations with selected environmental factors. Invertebrates are collected using Moericke´s traps (yellow pan traps), Barber`s traps (pitfall traps) and barrier traps. Population dynamics in natural forest ecosystem differ depending on taxon or ecological group to which invertebrates belong. Between the years 1988-1999, two peaks in abundance of invertebrates were noticed: in 1990-91 and 1996. There was a distinct correlation between average temperature, precipitation, hydrothermal index and the abundance of many groups of collected invertebrates, especially in yellow and barrier traps. The effectiveness of pitfall traps was less dependent on meteorological conditions. There was a positive correlation between the density of large ungulates (red deer, roe deer, wild boar) and the abundance of collected coprophagous invertebrates. There was a small correlation between invertebrate density and bird population size. There was no clear effect of ground water level fluctuation on invertebrates, except for bark beetles (Scolytidae). The high seed bearing years of trees (pine, spruce, oak) had a distinct effect on some groups of insects while pollution of the environment, except the pH of rain, had no effect. A sampling period of 12 years was insufficient to observe patterns in the fluctuations of the populations of many invertebrates.
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