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Comparison of spatial dispersion of epigeic fauna between alluvial forests in an agrarian and Dunajské luhy protected landscape area, southern Slovakia

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The spatial distribution of the epigeic fauna of floodplain ecosystems (willow-poplar floodplain forest, regenerated poplar forest), in the conditions of the natural environment of the Dunajské luhy Protected Landscape Area (PLA, hereinafter) and agrarian landscape was studied. The Dunajské luhy PLA, hereinafter (Slovak Republic) is the part of the system of protected areas of the European Union. During the three years 2020–2022, 24,169 individuals belonging to 19 taxa at 6 locations using the pitfall traps method were recorded. Through spatial modeling, the preference of most taxa for floodplain forests located in the Dunajské luhy PLA was found. We also observed a significant difference in number of individuals of epigeic fauna in floodplain forests betvween Dunajské luhy PLA area and agrarian landscape during all three years 2020 (p = 0.0070), 2021 (p = 0.0077) and 2022 (p = 0.04624). Thus, agroecosystems in the neighborhood of alluvial forests had a negative impact on the taxonomic diversity and abundance of epigeic fauna. In order to maintain a balance between the production of food, wood and the preservation of natural forest stands, it is important to optimally allocate areas and set up their management. For example, by creating forest islands in agricultural crops, to increase the epigeic fauna.

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Life Sciences, Plant Science, Ecology, other