A comparison of the Coleoptera, Araneae and Formicidae fauna in a grazed native grassland remnant of Victoria
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Susan A. Hadden, Martin E. Westbrooke, 1999. "A comparison of the Coleoptera, Araneae and Formicidae fauna in a grazed native grassland remnant of Victoria", The Other 99%: The Conservation and Biodiversity of Invertebrates, Winston Ponder, Daniel Lunney
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A native grassland remnant on private property on the Western Basalt Plains of Victoria was investigated to determine the composition and relative abundance of the Formicidae (ant), Coleoptera (beetle), and Araneae (spider) fauna. One hundred and sixty morpho-species were identified, comprising 26 ant, 90 beetle and 44 spider morpho-species. Dominant ant, beetle and spider morpho-species, as well as functional groups , are described. The effect of grazing on the ant, beetle and spider invertebrate richness and relative abundance was examined from randomly established plots. Changes in structure, biomass and botanical composition, as reflecting grazed and ungrazed plots, were used to investigate if there were any effects on the invertebrates. The removal of grazing did affect certain dominant species of ants, beetles and spiders. There were no significant changes in the ant functional groups, however, there were significant changes observed for certain functional groups of beetles and spiders. The most effective management for the maintenance of these grasslands as invertebrate species-rich remnants would be to maintain the current domestic grazing levels and intensities. This will be appropriate if the objective is to maintain the current number of species within these grassland remnants.