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  • 1 University of Helsinki, FI-00014 Helsinki, P.Box 65, Viikinkaari 2, Finland
  • | 2 Biological Institute, Pázmány Péter sétány 1C, H-1117 Budapest, Hungary
  • | 3 Aarhus University, Flakkebjerg Research Centre, DK-4200 Slagelse, Denmark
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Urbanization effects on terrestrial isopod (Isopoda, Oniscidea) populations were studied in forested areas along a rural-to-urban gradient including a native beech forest, suburban and urban forest fragments in Sorø, Denmark. The seasonal activity patterns of the dominating species (Oniscus asellus, Philoscia muscorum and Porcellio scaber) indicated differences among the areas, but these patterns were idiosyncratic. There were more females than males in most areas. The seasonal patterns of males and non-gravid females were similar and often bimodal; gravid females showed markedly different, usually unimodal activity patterns. Temporal changes of sex ratios were – in each species – characterized by an early summer activity peak of males, followed by the activity peak of gravid females. We suggest that these trends might indicate a reproduction-driven surface activity of males. The small response of the three isopod species to urbanization may reflect their wide ecological tolerance as well as the “soft management” of the urban park.

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