Wirbellosen-Fauna der Großstadt Köln


Urban areas are characterized by several man-made and constant interferences with the ecosystem. In such habitats the species composition of the flora and fauna may change. This paper gives a comprehensive survey of the study "Insekten-, Spinnen- und Molluskenfauna der Großstadt Köln" ("Insect-, Spider- and Mollusks/Molluscans-fauna of the City of Cologne"), the results of which were published in two volumes (1992 and 1996). As a representative of an urban ecosystem, we studied on a large scale and for the first time in such compactness in Köln the fauna of a large city.
Among others, we studied man-made habitats with regard to:
1. the species composition in the subnatural suburbs of the city, where the characteristics of a city will be predominant after a further expansion of the built-up-area,
2. the species composition in the central city and in the historical city core and - more thematically -
3. the occurrence of species (in-)directly relevant to man (i.e. vermin, pests of stored food, bioindicators and useful insects) and the mass-swarming of insects.
49 species groups belonging to different taxonomic categories were examined using different collection methods (MALAISE-, BARBER- (pitfall-), MOERICKE-, light- and pheromone traps and netting): Mollusca: Gastropoda et Bivalvia (1996, I), Araneae (1992, 1996, I) and Araneae of the natural reserve "Wahner Heide" (1996), Odonata (1992, 1996); Ensifera et Caelifera (1996 I); Orthopteromorpha (1996); Hemiptera: Heteroptera (1992, 1996), Auchenorrhyncha (1996), Coccina (1996, I); Neuropteroidea (1992); Coleoptera (1992, 1996) and Coleoptera of the natural reserve "Wahner Heide" (1992); Hymenoptera: Formicidae (1996), Vespidae (1996), Pompilidae et Sphecidae (1996), Apidae (1996), Bombus et Psithyrus (1996); Macrolepidoptera (1992, I, 1996); Diptera: Stratiomyidae (1992), Lonchopteridae (1992), Bombyliidae et Conopidae (1996), Micropezidae (1992), Psilidae (1992), Agromyzidae (1992), Sciomyzidae (1992), Sepsidae (1992), Sphaeroceridae (1996), Heleomyzidae (1992), Trixoscelididae (1992), Lauxaniidae (1992), Empididae (1992, 1996), Hybotidae (1992, 1996), Microphoridae (1992, 1996), Atelestidae (1992, 1996), Phoridae (1996), Pipunculidae (1996), Syrphidae (1996), Tachinidae (1996), Drosophilidae (1996), Chloropidae (1992), Scatophagidae (1996), Fanniidae sowie Ulidiidae, Muscidae, Sarcophagidae, Piophilidae, Anthomyiidae, Calliphoridae, Tephritidae (1996, partim, I) ("1992": data published in Vol. I, "1996": in Vol. II, "I": data from intra-urban locations.) Other papers deal with aspects of applied zoology: 1. the mass-swarming of the mayfly Ephoron virgo along the river Rhein (1996, I), 2. nest-building and parasitic Hymenoptera nesting in the stems of bramble (1996), 3. nesting boxes as "hot spots" for detritivorous insect pests of foodstuffs, clothes and furnishings (1996, I), 4. synanthropic flies at (intra-)urban locations with animal-keeping (1996, I), 5. aspects of the use of insects and mollusks/molluscans for different purposes (fine and graphic arts, culture and commerce) (1996, I) and 6. the transfer of the results from the field studies in a specially developed data bank (plant and animal species land register of the city of Köln) (1996, I).
In the species groups under study, nearly 4,000 species were actually observed. After evaluation of further data from long-term surveys, the evaluation of private collecting records and literature data, a total of about 4,500 species was recorded and nearly 250,000 specimens were taken. With regard to the species groups under study, about 16 to 75% of the species were found which are known from Germany. A number of more than 2,100 species and 36,000 specimens were observed in the natural reserve "Wahner Heide" near Köln during two supplementary studies.
Our results demonstrate that commonly distributed and unspecialized (ubiquitous) abundant species as well as highly specialized species may occur throughout the urban area.
When compared, the number of species in most species groups was frequently lower in urban localities than in near-natural habitats than in near-natural habitats in the surroundings of Köln. However, due to the use of different sampling methods in the studied habitats, which were located throughout the whole city, in total a high number of species could be recorded in most species groups.
Individuals from many endangered species, which are listed in the Red Data Book, were found in Köln.
Specimens from 14 species hitherto unknown to science, were recorded for the first time in Köln. A further number of 61 species was found which were not known from Germany so far. 31 species were recorded for the first time in the province of "Nordrhein-Westfalen". Several authors refer to species protection as well as habitat conservation and habitat management.

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Last update : June 10th 1999