Bildmontage ConnectPlus
© Photographs: L. Holzapfel

Connectivity may have a great impact on populations and communities in general, and specifically on those living in isolated microhabitats within larger ecosystems. For species of forest ecosystems, forest management is one strong driver of environmental conditions and may affect connectivity between different forest stands. Especially aquatic insect communities in water-filled tree-holes likely suffer from strong dispersal limitation, small population sizes and rapidly changing conditions within their microhabitats (e.g. drought).

The project Trittsteinbiotope ( is monitoring different types of microhabitats on sides all around Austria by the BFW (Bundesforschungszentrum für Wald). One part of the project is the ConnectPLUS project ( ), which is investigating water-filled structures such as tree holes, among other things. Natural and artificial tree holes are sampled for this purpose. The investigations will be carried out for two years on 35 of the sides around and in the national parks of Gesäuse and Kalkalpen.

The project is co-financed by the Waldfonds Republik Österreich.