Habitat alterations: A threat to biodiversity

Bruno Baur , Andreas Erhardt, Armin Coray, Laszlo Rakosy (Cluj-Napoca, Romania), Cristina Cremene (Cluj-Napoca, Romania), Anatoli Shyleiko (Moscow, Russia)

Natural habitats are increasingly changed by human activities. In several case studies we examine possible causes for the local extinction of plant, butterfly, grasshopper, beetle and gastropod species. It has been suggested that climatic shifts brought on by global warming may lead to habitat changes and possible extinction of species. However, climatic warming may also occur on a local scale, for example as a result of thermal radiation emitted from urban areas. Compared with vegetation areas, buildings store more heat and evaporate less water which leads to increased air and surface temperatures. In this way built-up areas act as thermal islands influencing the climate of the surrounding landscape. Urban development during this century might increasingly affect adjacent natural habitats. Fine-scaled climatic changes, in turn, can have a major impact on the distribution and abundance of plant and animal species living in these areas.
In other studies we examine the effect of altered land use practice on the local biodiversity.

Keywords: habitat quality - population size - abiotic factors - land use - extinction

Selected publications

Baur B, Coray A, Lenzin H & Schmera D (2020) — Factors contributing to the decline of an endangered flightless longhorn beetle: a 20-year study — Insect Conservation and Diversity 13: 175–186

Vincent C, Fernandes RF, Cardoso AR, Broennimann O, Di Cola V, D'Amen M, Ursenbacher S, Schmidt BR, Pradervand J-N & Pellissier L (2019) — Climate and land-use changes reshuffle politically-weighted priority areas of mountain biodiversity — Global Ecology and Conservation 17: e00589

Baur B (2016) — Wer trägt die Verantwortung für die Erhaltung der Biodiversität? — In: Umweltethik interdisziplinär (Demko D, Elger BS, Jung C & Pfleiderer G, eds). Mohr Siebeck Tübingen: 1–11

Rusterholz H-P, Ursenbacher S, Coray A, Weibel U & Baur B (2015) — DNA Quantity and Quality in Remnants of Traffic-Killed Specimens of an Endangered Longhorn Beetle: A Comparison of Different Methods — Journal of Insect Science 15: 120

Baur B, Meier T, Baur A & Schmera D (2014) — Terrestrial gastropod diversity in an alpine region: Disentangling effects of elevation, area, geometric constraints, habitat type and land-use intensity — Ecography 37: 390–401

Schmera D & Baur B (2014) — Gastropod communities in alpine grasslands are characterized by high beta diversity — Community Ecology 15: 246–255

Pasinelli G, Meichty-Stier K, Birrer SB & Duss M (2013) — Habitat quality and geometry affect patch occupancy of two Orthopteran species — PLOS ONE 8: e65850

Baur B & Baur A (2013) — Snails keep the pace: shift in upper elevational limit on mountain slopes as a response to climate warming — Canadian Journal of Zoology 91: 596–599

Silvertown J, Cook L, Cameron R, Dodd M, McConway K, Worthington J, Skelton P, Anton C, Bossdorf O, Baur B, Schilthuizen M, Fontaine B, Sattmann H, Bertorelle G, Correia M, Oliveira C, Pokryszko B, Ozgo M, Stalazas A, Gill E, Rammul U, Solymos P, Feher Z & Juan X (2011) — Citizen science reveals unexpected continental-scale evolutionary change in a model organism — PLoS ONE 6: e18927

Boschi C & Baur B (2008) — Past pasture management affects the land snail diversity in nutrient-poor calcareous grasslands — Basic and Applied Ecology 9: 752–761

Boschi C & Baur B (2007) — Effects of management intensity on land snails in Swiss nutrient-poor pastures — Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 120: 243–249

Boschi C & Baur B (2007) — The effect of horse, cattle and sheep grazing on the diversity and abundance of land snails in nutrient-poor calcareous grasslands — Basic and Applied Ecology 8: 55–65

Cremene C, Groza G, Rakosy L, Schileyko AA, Baur A, Erhardt A & Baur B (2005) — Alterations of steppe-like grasslands in Eastern Europe: a threat to regional biodiversity hotspots — Conservation Biology 19: 1606–1618

Baur B, Coray A, Minoretti N & Zschokke S (2005) — Dispersal of the endangered flightless beetle Dorcadion fuliginator (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) in spatially realistic landscapes — Biological Conservation 124: 49–61


List of all publications related to this project


Dorcadion fuliginator

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