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Open AccessArticle

Predation Pressure on Sentinel Insect Prey Along a Riverside Urbanization Gradient in Hungary

1
Department of Ecology, University of Debrecen, H-4032 Debrecen, Hungary
2
Department of Forest Protection, NARIC Forest Research Institute, H-3232 Mátrafüred, Hungary
3
Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University, Flakkebjerg Research Centre, DK-4200 Slagelse, Denmark
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Insects 2020, 11(2), 97; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11020097
Received: 8 January 2020 / Revised: 25 January 2020 / Accepted: 30 January 2020 / Published: 1 February 2020
Urbanization is one of the most important global trends which causes habitat reduction and alteration which are, in turn, the main reasons for the welldocumented reduction in structural and functional diversity in urbanized environments. In contrast, effects on ecological mechanisms are less known. Predation is one of the most important ecological functions because of its communitystructuring effects. We studied six forest habitats along a riverside urbanization gradient in Szeged, a major city in southern Hungary, crossed by the river Tisza, to describe how extreme events (e.g., floods) as primary selective pressure act on adaptation in riparian habitats. We found a generally decreasing predation pressure from rural to urban habitats as predicted by the increasing disturbance hypothesis (higher predator abundances in rural than in urban habitats). The only predators that reacted differently to urbanization were ground active arthropods, where results conformed to the prediction of the intermediate disturbance hypothesis (higher abundance in moderately disturbed suburban habitats). We did not find any evidence that communities exposed to extreme flood events were preadapted to the effects of urbanization. The probable reason is that changes accompanied by urbanization are much faster than natural landscape change, so the communities cannot adapt to them.
Keywords: urban; rural; ecological function; predation; predation paradox; sentinel prey; caterpillar; arthropod; mammal; bird urban; rural; ecological function; predation; predation paradox; sentinel prey; caterpillar; arthropod; mammal; bird
MDPI and ACS Style

Eötvös, C.B.; Lövei, G.L.; Magura, T. Predation Pressure on Sentinel Insect Prey Along a Riverside Urbanization Gradient in Hungary. Insects 2020, 11, 97.

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