Skip to main content Accessibility help

Diversity and distributional pattern of soil microarthropods (Protura) across a transitional zone in Ukraine

  • Julia Shrubovych (a1) (a2) and Maria Sterzyńska (a3)


The biodiversity of transitional zones is unique, due to mixing and co-occurrence of biotic elements. Despite this, our basic knowledge on distributional patterns of soil microarthropods in areas where biogeographic regions overlap is insufficient. We studied the biogeographic patterns of Protura across three natural landforms in Ukraine within the Transcarpathia (Transcarpathian Lowland, Transcarpathian foothills, and Volcanic Ukrainian Carpathian), which are influenced by adjacent biogeographic areas (mainly Alpine and Pannonian). We hypothesised that these overlaps have brought about an increase in Protura diversity, due to inclusion of faunal elements from diverse origins and differing in geographical histories. Distinct differences in the species composition of Protura were found among lowland, foothill, and mountain sites within Transcarpathia. Mountain sites mainly have Protura species with a wide continental distribution, while species of the foothills mainly stem from the Pannonian biogeographic region. The highest number of proturan endemics was associated with the Transcarpathian foothills. We conclude that the Transcarpathian region can be defined as a biogeographical transition zone for soil microarthopods, exemplified by Protura, and that foothill sites such as the volcanic-tectonic mountain Chorna Hora is a local hotspot of diversity and endemism, representing the most valuable parts of Transcarpathia with respect to diversity and endemism.


Corresponding author

1 Corresponding author (e-mail:


Hide All

Subject editor: Kevin Floate



Hide All
Blesić, B. and Mitrovski-Bogdanović, A. 2012. Protura in Serbia. Kragujevac Journal of Science, 34: 101106.
Bu, Y., Potapov, M.B., and Yin, W.Y. 2014. Systematic and biogeographical study of Protura (Hexapoda) in Russian Far East: new data on high endemism of the group. ZooKeys, 424: 1957.
Christian, E. 2011. Protura (Insecta). In Checklisten der Fauna Osterreichs, No. 5 Protura (Insecta), Opiliones (Arachnida), Pseudoscorpiones (Arachnida), Tipulidae (Insecta: Diptera). Edited by R. Schuster. Biosystematics and Ecology Series. Volume 28. Austrian Academy of Sciences Press, Wienna. Pp. 1–9.
Colwell, R.K. 2011. Estimates: statistical estimation of species richness and shared species from samples. Version 9. Available from [accessed 13 November 2011].
Conti, F.D. 2015. Conservation agriculture and soil fauna: only benefits or also potential threats? A review. ECronicon Agriculture, 2: 473482.
Decaëns, T., Jiménez, J.J., Gioia, C., Measey, G.J., and Lavelle, P. 2006. The values of soil animals for conservation biology. European Journal of Soil Biology, 42: 2338.
Drescher, A. and Prots, B. 2005. European floodplain forests: a case study in Transcarpathia (Zakarpattya), Ukraine. In Proceeding of the natural forests in the temperate zone of Europe – values and utilisation conference, Mukachevo, 13–17 October 2003. Edited by B. Commarmot and F.D. Hamor. Swiss Federal Research Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research, Birmensdorf and Carpathian Biosphere Reserve, Rakhiv, Ukraine. Pp. 440–446.
Drescher, A., Prots, B., and Mountford, O. 2003a. The world of old oxbow lakes, ancient riverine forests and meliorated mires in the Tisza river basin. Fritschiana, 45: 4369.
Drescher, A., Prots, B., and Mountford, O. 2003b. Project Transcarpathian riverine forests, Ukraine, at the start point. Südosteuropa, Würzburger Geographische Manuscripte, 63: 139144.
European Environment Commission. 2017. The biogeographical regions. Available from [accessed 19 June 2017].
Ferro, I. and Morrone, J.J. 2014. Biogeographical transition zones: a search for conceptual synthesis. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 113: 112.
Galli, L., Capurro, M., and Torti, K. 2011. Protura of Italy, with a key to species and their distribution. ZooKeys, 146: 1967.
Gaston, K.J., Chown, S.L., and Evans, K.L. 2008. Ecogeographical rules: elements of a synthesis. Journal of Biogeography, 35: 483500.
Hetényi, G., Stuart, G.W., Houseman, G.A., Horváth, F., Hegedüs, E., and Brückl, E. 2009. Anomalously deep mantle transition zone below Central Europe: evidence of litospheric instability. Geophysical Research Letter, 36: 16.
Hilbers, D. 2008. The nature guide to the Hortobagy and Tisza River Floodplain, Hungary. Crossbill Guides Foundation, Arnhem, The Netherlands.
Husemann, M., Schmidt, T., Zachos, F.E., Ulrich, W., and Habel, J.C. 2014. Palearctic biogeography revisited: evidence for the existence of a North African refugium for western Palaearctic biota. Journal of Biogeography, 41: 8194.
Kaneko, N., Minamiya, Y., Nakamura, O., Saito, M., and Hashimoto, M. 2012. Species assemblage and biogeography of Japanese Protura (Hexapoda) in forest soils. Diversity, 4: 318333.
Kaprus, I., Shrubovych, J., and Tarashchuk, M. 2006. Catalogue of the Collembola and Protura of Ukraine. State Natural History Museum, Lviv, Ukraine. (In Ukrainian with English summary).
Kseneman, M. 1938. Apterygota z rezervace “Pop Ivan” na Podcarpatske Rusi. Sbornik vyzkumnych ustavu zemedelskych CSR, 152: 451524.
Lepš, J. and Šmilauer, P. 2003. Multivariate analysis of ecological data using Canoco. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom.
Majcin, D., Kutas, R., Bilčik, D., Bezák, V., and Korchagin, I. 2016. Thermal conditions for geothermal energy exploatation in the Transcarpathian depression and surrounding units. Contributions to Geophysics and Geodesy, 46: 3349.
Marchese, C. 2015. Biodiversity hotspots: a shortcut for a more complicated concept. Global Ecology and Conservation, 3: 297309.
Nosek, J. 1973. The European Protura. Their taxonomy, ecology and distribution. With keys for determination. Museum d’Histoire naturelle, Geneva, Switzerland.
Nosek, J. and Vysotskaya, S.O. 1976. Study of Protura from the nests of small mammals of Transkarpathian region. Entomologicheskoe Obozrenie, 55: 808812.
Pass, G. and Szucsich, N.U. 2011. 100 years of research on the Protura: many secrets still retained. Soil Organisms, 83: 309334.
Pécskay, Z., Seghedi, J., Downes, H., Prychodko, M., and Mackiv, B. 2000. K/Ar dating of neogene calc-alkaline volcanic rocks from Transcarpathian Ukraine. Geologica Carpathica, 51: 8389.
Ren, Y., Stuart, G.W., Houseman, G.A., Dando, B., Ionescu, C., Hegedus, E., et al. 2012. Upper mantle structures beneath the Carpathian-Pannonian region: implications for the geodynamics of continental collision. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 349–350: 139152.
Rusek, J. 1973. Eosentomon pratensis sp. n. (Protura) aus Süd-Mähren. Acta entomologica bohemoslovaca, 70: 5559.
Shmitt, T. and Varga, Z. 2012. Extra-Mediterranean refugia: the rule and not the exception? Frontiers in Zoology, 9: 112.
Shrubovych, J. 2009. Acerentomon szeptyckii sp. n. (Protura: Acerentomidae) from Ukraine. Acta zoological cracoviensia, 52B: 915.
Shrubovych, J. 2010. Taxonomical richness and chorological structure of proturan fauna (Protura) in Ukraine. Science Bulletin of the Uzhgorod University (Seria Biologia), 29: 7581. (In Ukrainian with English summary).
Shrubovych, J. 2011. Redescription of Verrucoentomon montanum new status (=Acerella montana Martynova) (Protura: Acerentomidae, Nipponentominae). Zootaxa, 2743: 6367.
Shrubovych, J., Bartel, D., Szucsich, N.U., Resch, M.C., and Pass, G. 2016. Morphological and genetic analysis of the Acerentomon doderoi group (Protura: Acerentomidae) with description of A. christiani sp. nov. Public Library of Science One, 11: e0148033.
Shrubovych, J. and Fiera, C. 2016. New records of Protura (Entognatha, Arthropoda) from Romania, with an identification key to Romanian species. ZooKeys, 552: 3348.
Shrubovych, J., Schneider, C., and D’Haese, C. 2012. Description of a new species of Acerentulus Berlese, 1908 (Protura: Acerentomata: Acerentomidae) with its barcode sequence and a key to the confinis group. Annales de la Société Entomologique de France, 48: 17.
Shrubovych, J., Schneider, C., and D’Haese, C. 2014. Two new species of Acerentulus Berlese, 1908 (Protura: Acerentomata: Acerentomidae) with its barcode sequence and a key to the cunhai group. Annales de la Société Entomologique de France, 50: 129140.
Shrubovych, J. and Sterzyńska, M. 2015. The fauna of Protura in Ukrainian Carpathians. In Abstract book Uzhhorod entomological readings – 2015, 15th International Conference, 25–27 September 2015, Uzhhorod, Ukraine. Edited by I.P. Studeniak, V.G. Roshko, V.O. Chumak, and V.V. Mirutenko. Uzhhorod National University, Uzhhorod, Ukraine. P. 16.
Sterzyńska, M., Orlov, O., and Shrubovych, J. 2012. Effect of hydrologic disturbance regimes on Protura variability in a river floodplain. Annales Zoologici Fennici, 49: 309320.
Suda, Y., Yamada, M., Rhyzov, S., and Stepanchyk, V. 2014. Preliminary report on obsidian petrography from the Transcarpathian region in Ukraine. Natural Resource Environment and Humans, 4: 2137.
Szeptycki, A. 1980. Polish Protura I. Genus Acerentomon Silvestri, 1907. Polskie Pismo Entomologiczne, 50: 311392.
Szeptycki, A. 1985. Polish Protura II. Eosentomon delicatum Gisin, 1945 and related species. Polskie Pismo Entomologiczne, 55: 531574.
Szeptycki, A. 1986. Polish Protura IV. Eosentomon “transitorium” group. Polskie Pismo Entomologiczne, 56: 481530.
Szeptycki, A. 1991. Polish Protura V. Genus Acerentulus Berlese, 1908 (Acerentomidae). Acta Zoologica Cracoviensia, 34: 164.
Szeptycki, A. 2007. Catalogue of the world Protura. Acta Zoologica Cracoviensia, 50B: 1210.
Szeptycki, A., Stomp, N., and Weiner, W.M. 2003. The Protura of Luxembourg. Ferrantia, 34: 544.
Varga, Z. 2003. Post-glacial dispersal strategies of Orthoptera and Lepidoptera in Europe and in the Carpathian basin. In Changes in range: invertebrates on the move. Proceedings of 13th International colloquium European Invertebrate Survey, 2–5 September 2001, Leiden. Edited by M. Reemer, P.J. van Helsdingen, and R.M.J.C. Kleukers. European Invertebrate Survey, Leiden, The Netherlands. Pp. 93–105.
Varga, Z. 2013. Outline of faunal history of southeastern Central Europe: a synthesis of paleoecology and phylogeography. In Biogeography of the Carpathians Kraków 2013. The first interdisciplinary symposium biogeography of the Carpathians: evolution of biodiversity in a spatiotemporal context, 26–28 September 2013, Kraków, Poland. Edited by E. Kuta. Acta Biologica Cracoviensia Series Botannica, supplement 1, 55: 17.
Wachter, G.A., Papadopoulou, A., Muster, C., Arthofer, W., Knowles, L.L., Steiner, F.M., and Schlick-Steiner, B.C. 2016. Glacial refugia, recolonisation patterns, and diversification forces in Alpine-endemic Megabunus harvestmen. Molecular Ecology, 25: 29042919.
Wolters, V. 2001. Biodiversity of soil animals and its function. European Journal of Soil Biology, 37: 221227.


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed