Assessing the effects of climate change on arthropod abundance in Azorean pastures: PASTURCLIM project’s baseline monitoring data

Wallon, S., Melo, C., Tsafack, N., Elias, R.B. & Borges, P.A.V. (2023) Assessing the effects of climate change on arthropod abundance in Azorean pastures: PASTURCLIM project's baseline monitoring data.

Biodiversity Data Journal, 11, e103723. DOI:10.3897/BDJ.11. e103723 (IF2022 1,3; Q3 Biodiversity Conservation)
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  • May, 2023



The data we present are part of the project PASTURCLIM (Impact of climate change on pasture’s productivity and nutritional composition in the Azores). The project aims to assess the consequences of climate change (e.g. temperature increase) on the grass production and its quality for forage, as well as to assess changes in the arthropod communities associated with the Azorean intensive pastures. An in situ experiment was set up using Open Top Chambers (OTCs), in order to simulate an increasing of temperature (average of +1.2ºC) on pastures. In this contribution, we present the data relative to the arthropod sampling.

New information

We provide an inventory of all arthropods recorded inside OTCs and in control plots in three intensively managed pastures dominated by grasses in Terceira Island (Azores): two of them dominated by ryegrass, Lolium multiflorum Lam. (Poaceae), located respectively at 186 m and 301 m above sea level; and one field dominated by common velvetgrass, Holcus lanatus L. (Poaceae), located at an altitude of 385 m.

A total of 41351 specimens were collected. Organisms collected belong to four classes, 15 orders, 60 families and 171 species/morphospecies (including 34 taxa identified only at order, family or genus level). Therefore, for only 137 taxa, we have a scientific name associated (n = 38918). A total of 75% of the species (n = 129 species) are considered introduced (including all the species with indeterminate colonisation status that are possibly also exotic species (n = 7622)), representing 71% of the total abundance (n = 29664 specimens). A total of 19% of the species (n = 33 species) are considered native non-endemic representing 28% of the total abundance (n = 11608 specimens). Only one endemic species was sampled, the wolf spider Pardosa acorensis Simon, 1883 (1% of the species), representing 0.2% of the total abundance (n = 79 specimens). Spiders (5056 specimens) and beetles (18310 specimens) were the dominant taxa representing, respectively, 20 and 78 morphospecies.

Since the main aim of this study was to have a better knowledge on arthropod communities present in Azorean pastures under a simulated temperature increase, the principal novelty of this paper is the contribution with distribution and abundance data to a baseline knowledge on the future consequences of climate changes on arthropod communities in Azorean pastures.