Post-glacial dispersal strategies of Orthoptera and Lepidoptera in Europe and in the Carpathian basin Ecologically transitional regions are characterised by high species diversity due to the overlap of species with different geographical origins caused by dispersal processes along gradients, e.g. the overlap of species belonging to different zonobiomes. The overlap of azonal communities along shortdistance gradients results in the organisation of community-complexes and landscape mosaics connected by habitat ecotones characterised by overlap of several faunal types, like Mediterranean, Balkanic, Siberian, Ponto-Caspian, Ponto-Pannonian, Turano-Eremic and Xeromontane elements in the Pannonian forest-steppe complexes. For some invertebrate groups, such as the land gastropods or some soil arthropods, the Carpathian basin contains a considerable proportion of endemic species. The eastern and southern Carpathians, together with the mountains of western Transsylvania, can be considered as core areas of survival and autochtonous evolution in some invertebrate groups with limited mobility. In mobile insect groups only peripherically isolated sibling (sub)species have evolved, which display manifold biogeographic connections, for instance to the Balkan peninsula, Asia minor or southern Russia. The distribution of Mediterranean-Manchurian bicentric faunal elements, connected to the Ponto-Caspian waterwaysystem, shows long-distance disjunctions from the eastern Asiatic taxa. Gallery forests of the Illyrian and Pannonian types and wetlands accompanying the large rivers of the Pannonian lowland have served as corridors of the northward expansion of these species. The post-glacial repopulation of the Carpathian basin from different directions has been supported by Illyrian versus Dacian vicarious pairs of sister (sub)species. Cases of vicarious ‘Siberian’- Mediterranean sibling taxa have also been established. Recent results confirm that the montane part of the range of several ‘Siberian’ boreo-montane species does not have its origin in post-glacial ‘Siberian’ invasion. Populations of some butterfly species have been studied in different geographical scales. Patterns of metapopulation structure and of genetic differentiation have been established.

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M. Reemer , P.J. van Helsdingen (Peter) , R.M.J.C. Kleukers (Roy)
European Invertebrate Survey - the Netherlands, Leiden
Staff publications

Varga, Z. (2003). Post-glacial dispersal strategies of Orthoptera and Lepidoptera in Europe and in the Carpathian basin. Changes in ranges: invertebrates on the move. Proceedings of the 13th International Colloquium of the European Invertebrate Survey, Leiden, 2-5 September 2001, 93–105.