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Type: Article
Published: 2021-06-10
Page range: 34–42
Abstract views: 254
PDF downloaded: 17

Notes on coexistence of closely related Leiobunum rupestre and L. subalpinum (Opiliones, Eupnoi, Sclerosomatidae)

Karst Research Institute ZRC SAZU, Titov trg 2, 6230 Postojna, Slovenia. Department of Biology, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, University of Maribor, Koroška cesta160, 2000 Maribor, Slovenia.
Kasaze 5a, 3301 Petrovče, Slovenia.
ÖKOTEAM – Institute of Animal Ecology and Landscape Planning, Bergmanngasse 22, 8010 Graz, Austria.
Ozare 31, 2380 Slovenj Gradec, Slovenia.
Department of Biology, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, University of Maribor, Koroška cesta160, 2000 Maribor, Slovenia.
Department of Biology, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, University of Maribor, Koroška cesta160, 2000 Maribor, Slovenia.
Opiliones Co-occurrence cryptic species microclimatic niche Eastern Alps Slovenia


Two closely related, syntopic species, Leiobunum rupestre and L. subalpinum, spend the day at apparently randomly distributed resting sites. In this preliminary research, we studied differences in their microclimatic preferences at a locality in the Pohorje Mts., Slovenia. We measured air temperature and relative humidity at individual resting sites, and found that L. subalpinum occupied a slightly wider air temperature-relative humidity ecospace as compared to L. rupestre. Individuals of L. rupestre rested at more humid sites than L. subalpinum. Regression analyses revealed that the presence of L. rupestre was most likely at resting sites with air temperature in the range of 12–17°C and with relative air humidity of 98.1%. In contrast, the presence of L. subalpinum was most likely at resting sites with air temperature 23.1°C and relative air humidity in the range of 65–85%. Nevertheless, microclimatic niches of both species overlapped almost completely, indicating that niche filtering may allow the coexistence of the two species.



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