18 Mar 2015
True Bugs (Heteroptera) of Halophytic Habitats in Vojvodina (part II) – Opportunities for True Bugs Conservation in the Banat Region
True Bugs of Halophytic Habitats in Vojvodina (Part III) – Elaboration of Rapid Assessment and Monitoring of Pannonian Saline Grasslands Based on True Bugs
The project aims to draw public attention on true bugs and halophytic habitats in Vojvodina. True bug's inventory can contribute in planning and conserving of these valuable habitats and provide an initial conservation priority list for true bugs of northern Serbia. We would also like to give a contribution to Serbian entomology through education and nurturing of new generations of heteropterists.
Halophytic habitats represent rare oases of (semi)natural habitats in agricultural Vojvodina. The unique geological, hydrological and climatological conditions in the Pannonian region have caused the formation of highly specific vegetation on salty soils. They are listed in EU Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC: 1530 Pannonic salt steppes and salt marshes) as habitats requiring urgent and prioritized protection due to great vulnerability and botanical values. The remarkable botanical uniqueness and mosaic distribution of halophytic habitats, makes them crucial locations of true bug's diversity in northern Serbia.
In agriculturally highly developed Vojvodina, all the studies on true bugs mostly covered variety of pests. Diversity and composition of true bug’s communities in natural and semi natural habitats, such as grasslands and marshes on salty soils, are largely unknown. These insects represent a significant part of the insect community in ecosystems. Better insight into their ecology and food preferences could help in establishing key taxa and associations, which can be used in monitoring and management of saline habitats, but also to point out the most valuable taxa of true bugs in national entomofauna. Our surveys should contribute to gathering more complete faunistic data on insects fauna of halophytic habitats and help in planning more successful conservation strategies in protected as well as in unprotected areas.
During the project, biology and ecology students have a chance to learn about true bug’s taxonomy, actively participate in all research activities and presentation of the results. Formation of true bug survey team will accelerate the inventorying process which makes a good faunistic base for further studies. Through lectures, brochures, internet presentation and scientific papers, general public and the professional community will be informed about halophytic habitats and true bugs that need our attention and immediate actions. This project would be a chance for all participants to share information and form a network of people that can stay in touch for future work.