Variation in millipede (Diplopoda) assemblages in oak woodlands of the Eastern European Plain
Variation in millipede (Diplopoda) assemblages in oak woodlands of the Eastern European Plain was studied based on 46 soil samples collected from the vast territory: from west (Moldova and the extra-Carpathian part of western Ukraine) to east (Ural Mountains), and from south (central Ukraine and Russia) to north (subtaiga region) covering 4 vegetation belts: steppe, forest-steppe, deciduous forests and mixed forests. Altogether, 30 species were found in the samples. The millipede assemblages from the forest-steppe belt appear to be particularly rich in species and the most diversified. The species turnover estimated using ordination techniques (DCA) was very high. Among 21 factors considered in CCA to explain variation in the species data set, 12 showed to be significant, 2 of them: humus depth and mean annual deficit of humidity were the most important. Nevertheless, the climatic-geographical variables also cause at least as much variability of millipede assemblages of the Eastern European Plain as do habitat factors. The variability in each vegetation belt is determined by different main factors: in the steppe by humidity, in the forest-steppe by longitude, and in mixed forests by latitude.
Diplopoda assemblages, diversity, Eastern European Plain, oak forests, multivariate analysis, environmental factors, vegetation belts