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“Introduction Species associated with open sandy habitats have found refuges in sand pits created by mining of sandy soil. In northern Europe, several of these species are rare or endangered (e.g. Bergsten 2007; Eversham et al. 1996; Frycklund 2003; Ljungberg 2002; Schiel and Rademacher 2008; Sörensson 2006), because the
total area of open, disturbed habitats has declined following changes in land-use. One important change is Volasertib regrowth or afforestation of sites with sandy, low-productivity soils, where cattle commonly grazed centuries ago (Emanuelsson 2009). Another change is a reduction in the frequency of forest fires, which commonly resulted in open sandy spots after consuming the organic topsoil. Consequently, sand pits have become valuable habitats for beetles (Eversham et al. 1996; Ljungberg 2001, 2002; Molander 2007; Sörensson 1983) and several other organism
groups, e.g., aculeate wasps (Bergsten 2007; Drewes 1998; Sörensson 2006), butterflies (Frycklund 2003; Koeppel et al. 1994) and vascular plants (Andersson 1995; Bzdon 2008; Widgren 2005). Protein tyrosine phosphatase For these species, the usual practice of restoring abandoned sand pits by levelling out slopes, planting trees, and adding topsoil is detrimental (e.g., Bell 2001; Dulias 2010). Many conservationists BAY 80-6946 price recognize the value of sand pits as habitats for threatened species. However, there is a paucity of information regarding the kinds of pits being most valuable for conserving the various taxa of fauna and flora that rely on them. One important factor influencing species richness and composition is patch size. Large areas tend to hold larger numbers of species than smaller areas (Connor and McCoy 1979; Rosenzweig 1995). This species-area relationship (SAR) is a robust generalization, based on numerous empirical studies (reviewed in Drakare et al. 2006). Island biogeography theory was developed by MacArthur and Wilson (1967) to explain SA-relationships, and the theory has since been extended to include terrestrial habitat patches with disjunctive surrounding habitats.