Our research on true bugs of saline (halophytic) habitats of the Vojvodina Province started five years ago. In 2019 we were awarded by a Booster Grant of the Rufford Foundation to continue our research on true bug ecology and conservation of saline grasslands in Serbia. The official title of the project is True Bugs of Halophytic Habitats in Vojvodina (Part III) – Elaboration of Rapid Assessment and Monitoring of Pannonian Saline Grasslands Based on True Bugs.
Details about how our research on saline grassland true bugs started, why it is important to get to know insect communities and saline habitats, how can we preserve them and promote their natural qualities can be found on the pages where our previous project are presented (the 1st project (2015) and the 2nd project (2017)).
The focus of the new project is on its scientific aspect which is divided into two sections: (1) the application of the rapid assessment method, based on rare and endangered true bugs species, to evaluate the conservation status of saline pastures and (2) studying the influence of mowing in saline grassland (as an alternative to grazing) on true bug communities. In the first part, we are recording the presence/absence of several saline habitat specialist species and rare steppe species, but also threats and utilization of saline grasslands. In the second part, true bug assemblages represent indicator groups, whereas differences in community composition in mown and un-mown parts of a saline grassland can provide information on how this type of management is suitable for insect conservation and biodiversity in general.
We are also planning the promotion of our project and those activities will be announced via HabiProt’s website and Facebook page.