Is microclimate important for Orthoptera in open landscapes?

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Orthoptera were monitored on field edge public footpaths on the east (leeward) and west (windward) side of hedgerows in Chelmsford, UK, in 2006. A total of 6 species were recorded from footpaths on the leeward side of hedgerows probably due to the shelter from the prevailing westerly winds provided by the trees and shrubs. On the windward side of hedgerows species richness and abundance of Orthoptera were reduced (only 4 species were recorded). It is suggested that shelter from the wind and the exposure to early morning sunlight for Orthoptera on the east side of hedgerows are important factors governing their occurrence on farmland. Many replicates had Environmental Stewardship (ES) scheme field margins adjacent but they did not affect Orthoptera species richness or abundance.

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