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ŠUMARSKI LIST 1-2/2014 str. 40     <-- 40 -->        PDF

The composition of the Chrysomelidae fauna of Mt. Fruška Gora is tightly linked with phytocenoses present in this region. Diversity of habitats and vegetation mostly influence those species that have specialized diets, but also to a lesser extent polyphagous species and those with ecological preferences (e.g., species that feed on aquatic plants). Due to high anthropogenic influence on Mt. Fruška Gora, many habitats are fragmented and leaf beetles are distributed somewhat mosaicly. Agricultural fields are, like isles, suitable for species that otherwise would not occur in the surrounding vegetation.
Among the leaf beetle species collected from Mt. Fruška Gora, a small number of them have an economic importance damaging agriculturally important plants. Chaetocnema tibialis (Illiger, 1807) is a pest of sugar beet (Nonveiller 1960; Sekulić et al. 2002). During this research on the southern slopes of Mt. Fruška Gora during spring imagines were seen to perforate leaves of sugar beet and spinach plants, usually in large numbers. Gonioctena fornicata (Brüggemann, 1873) occurs as a pest of certain fodder crops (György et al. 2007). Species was most often caught on Medicago sativa L. and Trifolium pratense L. Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Say, 1824) is a serious pest of Solanum tuberosum L. Widely distributed in the region of Vojvodina (Gavrilović & Ćurčić 2011), this species was regularly observed mostly on potatoes and other solanaceous plants (Solanum spp.). Oulema melanopus (Linnaeus, 1758) is a pest of cereals (Tanasković et al. 2012). It was found everywhere on Mt. Fruška Gora, doing most damage on fields of Triticum aestivum L., Zea mays L. and Hordeum vulgare L. Lilioceris merdigera (Linnaeus, 1758) occurred only locally on onions (Allium cepa L., A. sativum L.), damaging plant leaves only superficially.
Some species found during this study are known to occur as forest pests. Altica quercetorum Foudras, 1860 damages oak trees of different ages. Infestations have been recorded in central and southern parts of Serbia (Glavendekić 2000; Mihajlović 2008). Chrysomela populi Linnaeus, 1758 and C. vigintipunctata Scopoli, 1763 are one of the most important pests of poplar and willow cultivars in Serbia (Plavšić 1958). Phratora vulgatissima (Linnaeus, 1758) was observed damaging poplar sapling leaves in tree nurseries. Lachnaia sexpunctata (Scopoli, 1763) can inflict negligible damage to new buds and young leaves of Quercus spp., Betula pendula Roth, willows and poplars. Galerucella lineola (Fabricius, 1781) is a pest of willows, poplars, Alnus spp. and Corylus spp. This species normally feeds on plants from the family Salicaceae, but outbreaks or any significant damage to the trees were not observed (Mihajlović 2008).
A great number of the collected species have very wide distribution (Table 1). Most numerous are those whose distribution area encompass Eurasia to Himalayas. Among the analysed species, 11 of them belonging to Holarctic chorotype have an economic importance. Of these 11 species, 7 are treated as pests [Lilioceris lilii (Scopoli, 1763), Oulema gallaeciana (Heyden, 1879), O. melanopus (Linnaeus, 1758), Phaedon cochleariae (Fabricius, 1792), Phratora vulgatissima (Linnaeus, 1758), Phyllotreta striolata (Fabricius, 1803), Galeruca tanaceti (Linnaeus, 1758)], while 4 are used as biocontrol agents [Aphthona flava Guillebeau, 1894, Cassida rubiginosa Müller, 1776, Galerucella calmariensis (Linnaeus, 1767), Gastrophysa polygoni (Linnaeus, 1758)] in various biological control programs against weed plants (Lym 1998; Kok et al. 2000; Ulrich et al. 2004; Grevstad 2006; Petrova et al. 2006; Roditakis & Roditakis 2006; Majka & LeSage 2008; Lee et al. 2011).
Because of its height, Mt. Fruška Gora is a suitable habitat for species that prefer high altitude conditions of hilly and mountainous environments. Nine species found have such a preference (Table 1). Altitude and vegetation cover have a great impact on composition and distribution of leaf beetle fauna in such a way that this area is inhabited by certain hilly and mountainous species, but also the species characteristic to shrub-steppe ecosystems. Wetland vegetation that is distributed along the banks of the Danube River is populated by a specific leaf beetle fauna.
The species of Chrysomelidae identified from Mt. Fruška Gora are classified into 7 chorotypes of Holarctic (Eurasian, Palaearctic, West Palaearctic, Holarctic, Eurosiberian, Centralasian-Euro-Mediterranean and Euro-Mediterranean) and 3 chorotypes of Europe (European, Central European and South European). Two species have a subcosmopolitan distribution each [Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Say, 1824) and Lilioceris merdigera (Linnaeus, 1758)] (Table 1).
In the surveyed area elements of the leaf beetle fauna from different zoographical regions of Europe and Asia come into contact with each other and intertwine. Mt. Fruška Gora represents a northern extension of the Dinarides range, and is positioned in the southern part of the Pannonian Basin. The mountain is a transitional area where different regional relief characteristics, hydrological and climatological patterns combine (Ćurčić, 2007). Numerous species collected during this study typically occur in central and southern parts of Europe and the Mediterranean region. Typical Eastern European species were not found, but there are many species with the distribution in Asia that reach eastern parts of Europe and the Balkan Peninsula.
Number of species and genera of leaf beetles on Mt. Fruška Gora exceeds that found in the former studies. Subfamilies Chrysomelinae and Alticinae contain the greatest number