Journal of Insect Conservation

Published by Springer Nature
Online ISSN: 1572-9753
Print ISSN: 1366-638X
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Goliath beetles (genus Goliathus) are among the largest and most charismatic insects in the world. In West African forests, two species (G. cacicus and G. regius) and natural hybrids are found. These beetles are widely collected for the entomological trade. We carried out standardized interview campaigns in Liberia and Ivory Coast to explore local persons’ perceptions of the status and population trends of these beetles, as well as information on their ecology and use by humans. Only relatively few interviewed communities reported the presence of beetles, all agreed that Goliath beetle populations were declining, especially G. cacicus. On the other hand, G. regius was generally considered less rare by the interviewees and was also known in a larger number of communities than G. cacicus. Because of the high deforestation rates in Liberia and Ivory Coast, as well as the impact of the international trade at specific collection localities, we suggest that these species are in peril of extinction if no immediate conservation actions are taken to reverse their status.
Introduction Eastern migratory monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) have declined over 80% in recent years, but little is known about fall reproduction in the southern U.S. where monarchs may compete with queen butterflies (Danaus gilippus). Aims/methods We provide data on the survival to third instar, associated arthropods, and phenology of fall breeding monarchs and queens in Texas. Results Monarch and queen survival was relatively high, but varied among years. Oleander aphids (Aphis nerii), spiders, and red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) had minor negative effects on survival. The abundance of monarchs and queens on the study site peaked three to four weeks before the main passage of monarchs in the area. Queens had similar phenology and exhibited a migratory pattern similar to monarchs but on a smaller scale. Discussion Survival of fall monarchs is relatively high and potentially important for winter roost recruitment. Fall survival was not greatly affected by any particular arthropod taxon, but may be affected by precipitation. Fall reproduction is a response to available host plants and its timing enables pupae to eclose in time for migration to winter roosts. Implications for insect conservation Management of Asclepias viridis and other native milkweeds to facilitate fall reproduction could facilitate recovery of monarchs if it buffers variable productivity further north. Management should use mowing and burn schedules that promote high quality host plants. Populations of queens should be monitored for their potential to compete with monarchs especially in response to the potential impacts of parasite resistance and climate change.
The southwest Australia biodiversity hotspot region. Map A features the Stirling Range National Park circled in red and inset shows map of Australia with the southwest section selected. Regions follow IBRA (2020) bioregion classification of HAM Hampton; ESP Esperance sandplains; MAL Mallee; COO Coolgardie; AVW Avon Wheatbelt; JAF Jarrah Forest; WAR Warren; SWA Swan Coastal Plain; GES Geraldton Sandplains. Map B indicates the intactness of biodiversity in the region (or the average proportion of natural biodiversity remaining with 1 = wholly intact and 0 = no longer intact) using Newbold et al. (2016) and generated using UN Biodiversity Lab (2022). (Color figure online)
Images of selected families. a Swaustraltingis isobellae (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Tingidae). b An undescribed genus and species of Orgeriinae (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha: Dictyopharidae) from the endangered Eastern Stirling Range Montane Heath and Thicket ecological community in the Stirling Range National Park. c Trioza barrettae (Hemiptera: Sternorrhyncha: Triozidae). d An undescribed genus and species of Plectoderiini (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha: Achilidae) from the Stirling Range National Park. e Neopsittaconirmus borgiolii (Phthiraptera: Philopteridae), a louse restricted to large cockatoos such as the red-tail black and Baudins. f Paratype of Paraheterodoxus calcaratus (Phthiraptera: Boopidae), a louse restricted to woylies. g A species of Heliozela sensu lato (Lepidoptera: Heliozelidae) breeds on Melaleuca buds near Bluff Knoll, Stirling Range National Park and has a total known range of a couple of square kilometres, and h an undescribed genus and species of Micropterigidae (Lepidoptera) known from three extremely restricted sites in the Stirling Range National Park, all of which experienced intense fire in 2018–2019
Accumulation curves of descriptions of insects from selected groups: Philopteridae (blue dots); Tingidae (green solid line), Triozidae (light yellow solid line); Boopidae (dark purple solid line); and Heliozidae (red dashes). Dotted arrows and associated numbers indicate the estimated diversity in southwest Australia. Excluded are the Achilidae, Derbidae, Dictyopharidae, Micropterigidae where only 1 or 2 species have been described. (Color figure online)
The mass loss of insects is gaining momentum in the twenty-first century, compared with the previous 100 years. The loss is coinciding with accelerating threats, including megafires, flooding, temperature extremes, urbanisation, and habitat loss. In global diversity hotspots, where endemism is high, and native vegetation highly impacted, many insect species would likely be both endemic and threatened. However, insect diversity, endemicity and threat status are largely unknown in these regions. Here we assess the biodiversity and status of host-dependent insects in the southwest Australian (SWWA) hotspot. We selected nine insect families across three orders; Tingidae, Achilidae, Derbidae, Dictyopharidae, Triozidae (Hemiptera), Micropterigidae, Heliozidae (Lepidoptera), Boopidae, and Philopteridae (Psocodea). These families had 632+ species, of which 255 (~ 40%) were described. One species was formally listed as threatened, but a further 245 species potentially require conservation management. Threatening processes include coextinction (through loss or reduction in host populations), climate change, altered fire regimes, habitat loss, and fragmentation of host populations. Taxonomic and resourcing bias has inhibited attempts to describe the diversity and biogeography of the region, precluding comprehensive conservation assessments for the majority of insect families. Implications for insect conservation Given the scale and intensity of threats faced by a hyperdiverse insect fauna in the southwest Australia biodiversity hotspot, a systematic approach to manage habitats at a landscape scale is most likely to succeed in conserving species in the short-term. Longer term solutions require addressing these knowledge gaps, thus increasing our understanding of the diversity and conservation needs of insect families in southwest Australia.
A Locations of the 24 experimental forest meadows were spread over the different zones in the Black Forest National Park. B A typical forest meadow in the study area
Effect of mulching time on the number of total bee and wasp nests in 2017 and 2018. Each mulching treatment was compared to the control, significant differences are indicated by different letters
Effect of mulching time on the number of nests of the three functional groups (bees, herbivore-hunting wasps, carnivore-hunting wasps) in 2017 and 2018. Each mulching treatment was compared to the control. Significant differences between mulching times are indicated by different letters for each functional group
Mulching, cutting of the vegetation without plant biomass removal, is a common alternative to mowing. The aim of our study was to find out if the mulching of forest meadows at different time points affects cavity-nesting bees and wasps. We exposed trap nests for cavity-nesting bees and wasps at 24 forest meadows in south-western Germany over 2 years and applied four experimental mulching treatments with six replicates: (i) mulching in June, (ii) mulching in September, (iii) mulching in June and September, and (iv) no mulching as control. Nests were collected throughout the growing period. The insects were sorted and analyzed according to functional groups. Mulching in June and September reduced the nest number of all cavity-nesting insects in the second but not in the first year. The separation of insects into three functional groups (bees, herbivore-hunting wasps and carnivore-hunting wasps) showed that the number of herbivore-hunting wasp nests was reduced by mulching in September in both years and by mulching in June and September in the second year. Specifically, aphid-hunting wasps were influenced by mulching in September or mulching twice in the second year. Aphid-hunting wasps likely find their larval food in the vegetation of the forest meadows, while the other studied groups likely find their main larval food in the surrounding forests and are therefore not negatively affected. Implications for insect conservation For maintaining the reproductive success of cavity-nesting wasps that hunt for aphids, we recommend mulching once in June rather than mulching in September or twice a year.
Location of the orthopterological sampling sites (grey dots: agricultural sites, single numbers: semi-natural sites) studied between 2018 and 2020 in surroundings of Kesznyéten and Tiszaújváros in the northern part of the Carpathian lowland. Dotted area = arable lands
(Source: Google Earth 2022)
Ordination of Orthoptera assemblages of the 35 sampled sites (Bray–Curtis distance, inf. content: 1st axis = 29.80%, 2nd axis = 14.87%). A priory habitat types: empty square = semi-natural sites; empty dots = linear ruderal habitats; black dots = arable lands
Cluster analysis of Orthoptera assemblages of the 35 sampled sites (Bray–Curtis distance, MISSQ). A priory habitat types: empty square = semi-natural sites; empty dots = linear ruderal habitats; black dots = arable lands
Coordinates, type and mean intensity (Int.) value of habitat use of studied orthopterological sampling sites
Protecting biodiversity of agricultural lowlands is one of the main topics of European nature conservation. Understanding the relationship and interaction between cultivated and other habitat types is necessary since arable lands cover a significant part of the landscape, but former studies rather focus on the remaining semi-natural sites. Orthoptera assemblages, which are sensitive indicators of habitat structure and conservation value, were studied in a traditional intensively used agricultural area (it has been cultivated for several decades or even 250 years) to assess how arable land and ruderal linear habitats together can preserve insect diversity. Twenty-nine Orthoptera species, including protected Gampsocleis glabra , Acrida ungarica and Celes variabilis were recorded. We identified four assemblages and their character species reflecting intensity of land use. Assemblages of agricultural sites differed from the assemblages of semi-natural habitats used as control group. Revealing their quantitative composition, ratios of lifeforms and ecotypes, character species, and use of Grasshopper Conservation Indexes (GCI) helped to identify habitat types that can effectively preserve natural insect diversity, even under long-term intensive land use regime. Implications for conservation Considering our findings, the role of linear ruderal habitats and less intensively cultivated arable lands covered by alfalfa and red clover in maintaining of biodiversity is higher than it was formerly assumed. Increasing ratio of these less intensive cultures (at least to 5%, optimally 8–10%) and its connection with each other and linear ruderal habitats may provide temporary habitats and corridors for metapopulations living in mosaic landscape. The local greening programs can help Orthoptera conservation as well through supporting the production of these cultures. Complex landscape- and crop rotation planning, that regard the spatial and temporal distribution, and ratio of agriculture landscape elements may become an effective tool for biodiversity conservation and forming sustainable farming systems.
Habitat and adults of Eucorna sanarita.(a). E. sanarita male (left = dorsal view, right = ventral view); (b). E. sanarita female (left = dorsal view, right = ventral view); (c). Adult male with open wings perched on a leaf of Croton sp. (Euphorbiaceae) in Pindamonhangaba, SP (photo courtesy of Ricardo Costa); (d). Adult male with open wings perched upside down on a leaf of Croton sp. (Euphorbiaceae) in Delfim Moreira, MG; (e). General view of forest habitats in the Mantiqueira mountain range, Campos do Jordão, SP; (f). Closer view of habitat on a road of Delfim Moreira, MG. Abbreviations for Brazilian states: MG = Minas Gerais, SP = São Paulo
The occurrence points, potential geographical distribution and EOO-AOO of Eucorna sanarita. (a). E. sanarita sites in the states of Minas Gerais (MG), Rio de Janeiro (RJ) and São Paulo (SP); (b). Distribution model (ensemble) generated by different algorithms; (c). 10th percentile presence / absence binary map; (d). Extent of Occurrence (EOO) and area of Occupancy (AOO), black lines represent the polygon corresponding to the EOO and red dots indicate occurrences; light grey zones represent the Potentially Suitable Area (PSA); dark grey zones represent the Area of Occupancy (AOO), that is, the PSA within EOO.
Phylogenetic relationships of Eucorna sanarita and other Riodinidae taxa based on nine genes and obtained by a maximum likelihood analysis. Numbers on branches refer to bootstrap values (Values below 95 are not shown).
Map showing the 14 known sites for Eucorna sanarita in southeastern Atlantic Forest of Brazil (see Table 1 for further details). 1. Serra dos Órgãos National Park, Teresópolis, RJ; 2. Petrópolis, RJ; 3. Bocaina, Bananal, SP; 4. Maromba, Itatiaia National Park, Itatiaia, RJ; 5. Fazenda dos Campos, Virgínia, MG; 6. Serra dos Cochos, Passa Quatro, MG; 7. Road to Pico dos Marins (site 1), Delfim Moreira, MG; 8. Road to Pico dos Marins (site 2), Delfim Moreira, MG; 9. 15 Km SE, Delfim Moreira, MG; 10. Campos do Jordão State Park, Campos do Jordão, SP; 11. Road to Pico do Itapeva, Pindamonhangaba, SP; 12. Umuarama, Campos do Jordão, SP; 13. Serra de Campos do Jordão, Campos do Jordão, SP; 14. São Bento do Sapucaí, SP. Abbreviations for Brazilian states: MG = Minas Gerais, RJ = Rio de Janeiro, SP = São Paulo
The riodinid Eucorna sanarita (Schaus) is an “Endangered” (EN) butterfly with a confusing taxonomic history, restricted to a few sites of montane forest in the Atlantic Forest biodiversity hotspot, Southeastern Brazil. This study aims to collate all previous and novel available information for this species, such as systematic position, taxonomic placement, and geographic distribution, and to identify potential areas of occurrence using niche-based models. Ecological niche modeling (ENM) and geographical range (area of occupancy (AOO) and extent of occurrence (EOO)) were estimated using a total of 14 known geographic sites for this taxon. Until recently, this species was included in the genus Voltinia Stichel, 1910, and based on molecular data, we find that it is sister to the recently reassigned Napaea Hübner, [1819]. Predictive maps generated from niche models extend the possible sites of occurrence and aid in EOO and AOO estimation, both of which are important in the application of IUCN assessments. Our findings can be applied to the identification of additional sites for populations of E. sanarita and possibly resolve its conservation status (based on geographical range). Implications for insect conservation Our study contributes to the filling of knowledge gaps in the ecology, systematics, and taxonomy of E. sanarita, an endemic butterfly to the Atlantic Forest biodiversity hotspot, and brings a new perspective on the use of ENM to AOO and EOO estimates that can directly inform the conservation status of the species following IUCN guidelines.
The study area and altitudinal gradients. The red dots represent the thinned occurrences of Lasiommata petropolitana used for the Species Distribution Modelling
Species distribution modelling of Lasiommata petropolitana (cells with an occurrence probability < 10% were excluded). The panels (a–d) are accompanied by insets showing a detail of the Central Apennines area and four yellow arrows indicate the position of the four occurrence records for this area. Panels (a) and (b) show the current (1980–2021) and future (2041–2060) distribution of the species, respectively. They are based on the ensemble models, ensemble present (a) and ensemble future (b), and the colours represent the species occurrence probability in a range between 0 and 1. c Ensemble delta: this panel shows the occurrence probability difference between future projections and current projections (future probability minus present probability for each cell). Negative values (in red) indicate a predicted reduction of suitability in the future, whereas positive values (in blue) indicate a predicted increase of suitability in the future (the values between -0.1 and + 0.1 are excluded). d Consensus change. This panel shows the confidence in directional change of the four statistical models. The colours represent the number of statistical models which agree in the future occurrence predictions: green areas indicate full agreement among all the models (+ 4 + 3 − 3 − 4 values), while red areas indicate an intermediate agreement in which different models predict different results (+ 1 + 2 0 − 1 − 2 values). e Histogram showing the proportion of raster cells depending on the probability of the occurrence of L. petropolitana in present (light blue) and future (red with white stripes). The numbers (1, 2, 3, 4) indicate the occurrence probability values of the four sites in the Apennines both for the present (blue numbers) and for the future (red numbers). These numbers are associated with those in Online Resources 1 and 13. f Frequency of the confidence in directional changes among the four statistical models represented as the percentage of cells for which models agreed. The consensus categories are indicated on the x-axis and their percentages on the y-axis (the colours are associated with (d)
The elevational shift of L. petropolitana over time, showing the relationship between elevation and year of collection (1964–2021) for 323 records. The shaded area represents the 95% confidence interval of the regression line
The mitochondrial (COI) genetic structure of Lasiommata petropolitana.a Map of L. petropolitana haplotype distribution (2° resolution). The haplotype colours are attributed according to their genetic distance, based on a PCoA configuration on p-distances projected in RGB space. b Relative genetic distance plot among the different L. petropolitana haplotypes. Colours association corresponds to Fig. 2a. c Maximum parsimony COI haplotype network. The haplotypes (coloured circles) are separated by segments; each segment represents a single mutation between two different haplotypes. Haplotype colours have been assigned according to the geographical origin of the COI sequences. The circle area is proportional to the number of specimens showing each haplotype, as shown in the legend
Climate change represents a threat to narrow-ranged mountain species living in low-altitude massifs. We studied the disjunct Apennine population of Lasiommata petropolitana (Lepidoptera, Nymphalidae) in the Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park. We quantifed the altitudinal shifts undergone in the last decades (1964–2021) in the Alps and Apennines and estimated the local extinction risk due to climate change. We also sequenced the COI mitochondrial marker of seven Apennine specimens, comparing them with those available across the Palearctic. We projected the probability of presence for the species under a future climatic scenario using an ensemble forecasting approach. We found that, despite geographical isolation, the Apennine population of L. petropolitana displays a single widespread COI haplotype also occurring in most European populations. In the Alps and Apennines, this species has shifted uphill an average of 6.3 m per year since 1964. Accordingly, our model predicted a likely extinction in the Apennines by about 2060, due to a reduction of the climatic suitability in this region. Implications for insect conservation Implications for insect conservation Despite its potential loss in the Apennines would not erode mitochondrial diversity, L. petropolitana characterises the butterfy community of the Gran Sasso massif as an alpine enclave. The loss of the Apennine population, together with those of other orophilous butterfies, could trigger a homogenization of alpha and beta diversity and induce a loss of functional diversity in the impoverished high-altitude biotas. As habitat heterogeneity is a key aspect for populations to endure climate change, hange, the maintenance of varied microhabitats, mainly through grazing management, could address the decline of this population.
Location of the Parque Natural Municipal das Araucárias (orange) in the State of Paraná (purple), Brazil. The three different habitat types in which we performed data collection are highlighted in red (Araucaria Forest), yellow (Grassland), and green (Swamp). The scale is relative to the satellite image of the park. The transects with sampling stations installed in each habitat types are represented as black lines connecting the dark blue dots, respectively
A A sampling station with trap-nests. B A Trypoxylon opacum female entering a nest. C An opened nest with pulps of Trypoxylon opacum
Boxplots of the abundances of all insects (A, B), hosts (C, D) and parasitoids (E, F) among habitat types (first column) and sampling years (second column). The red dot represents the mean. Letters report the results of Tukey’s post hoc tests. Similar letters correspond to P > 0.05, while different letters represent P < 0.05
Species richness of A hosts and B their natural enemies between habitat types (bars) per sampling years (gray scale)
Insect communities can be modulated by habitat types within a biome because they offer different resources that may influence community structure and food webs. The Araucaria Forest in the Atlantic Forest is a habitat composed of many trees compared to more open environments, such as grasslands and swamps. It can provide more numerous and diversified cavities than the other habitats for cavity-nesting insects and affect the probability of natural enemies finding hosts; thus, affecting both communities. Assessing measures of community structure and food webs of cavity-nesting insects and their natural enemies in different habitat types can improve our knowledge of which components change and how they respond to habitat heterogeneity. We investigated communities of solitary bees and wasps and their natural enemies using trap-nests in three types of habitats in a conservation area of the Atlantic Forest. The Araucaria Forest housed the most abundant host community and a particular composition of hosts and natural enemies. Species richness did not change between habitats for both groups, while diversity differed between habitats. The spatial turnover component of β-diversity was greater than the nestedness and showed higher values between the forest and other habitat types. The forest and grassland presented the highest values of specialization. Robustness indexes were similar across all theoretical scenarios, in which the extinction of the communities of natural enemies can be more affected by the extinction of the most connected hosts. We discuss environmental distinctions between habitat types that may explain differences in the structure of insect communities and the patterns of interactions between species. Implications for insect conservation The Araucaria Forest was a fundamental component of habitat heterogeneity for cavity-nesting insect communities, which also influenced their natural enemies. Our study emphasizes the importance of preserving the high heterogeneity of habitats and of identifying which habitat types can maximize conservation goals for preserving insect communities and their ecosystem services.
Introduction The steep population decline of the emblematic monarch butterfly is caused mainly by the reduction of food sources for caterpillars and adults, as well as disturbance in its overwintering forests. Although feeding at the overwintering sites in Mexico has long been considered unimportant, observations show that butterflies feed inside and outside of their forests on sunny days. Nectaring close to the hibernation colonies may be relevant for their conservation, as their reserves decline faster in disturbed forests. However, there are no systematic studies on nectar sources in the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, Michoacán, Mexico. Aims In this study, we identified and quantified the main plant species visited by butterflies for nectaring in the Reserve. Methods We collected systematic observational data on the flora and butterfly visits in three sanctuaries, around colonies formed between February and March of the 2019–2020 season. Results Butterflies fed on 29 plant species from 10 families. Most had white, yellow or blue flowers, were somewhat synanthropic and had their main flowering season in winter. The most visited species were Salvia mexicana and S. plurispicata, which were also the most abundant. By individual plant, Prunus serotina, Crataegus mexicana, Buddleja sessiliflora, Verbesina oncophora and Roldana albonervia were the most visited. Discussion/Implications for insect conservation The results point to possible interventions in support of the butterflies. The visited species are generally easy to encourage or cultivate and could be promoted in the surrounding agricultural areas.
Distribution of sites along the Lac Saint-Pierre shoreline. Red represents agricultural areas, yellow represents Perennial hayfields and green represents natural habitats
Boxplot of bee and hoverfly abundance and species richness per land-use type and year. Horizontal lines inside the box represent the median, box limits represent 25th and 75th percentiles, vertical lines represent lower and upper 25th and 75th percent
The main objective of this study was to inventory the abundance and species richness of wild bees and hoverflies in the Lac Saint-Pierre floodplain according to a land-use gradient. In 2019 and 2020, pollinators were sampled using pan-traps in three landscape types: Crop field margins, Perennial hayfields, and Natural habitats. Bee and hoverfly populations were dominated by a few species throughout the study area. Crop field margins contained greater floral availability and attracted more individuals and species of bees than other landscape types. Although hoverflies were not affected by either land-use type or flooding, the abundance and species richness of bees appeared to be reduced when spring flooding lasted longer, suggesting a mortality effect of flooding on their populations. Implications for insect conservation Our results make a case for the key role of field margins in the conservation of pollinating insects in agricultural landscapes, especially in a floodplain context.
Riffle beetles (Coleoptera: Elmidae) are freshwater insects, and both adult and larval stages primarily inhabit running water. Therefore, environmental factors such as current velocity and substrate characteristics are crucial for the habitat of elmid beetles. The effects of substrate size structure, water depth, current velocity, and distance from terrestrial areas were evaluated for the adult and larval abundance of three common riffle beetles, Stenelmis nipponica Nomura, Zaitzevia awana (Kono), and Zaitzeviaria brevis (Nomura), and other cohabiting aquatic insects in a middle reach of the Mukogawa River, western Japan. The substrate size structure was summarized using principal component analysis, and the effects of environmental factors were analyzed using best subsets multiple regression. In summer (August), the three elmid species tended to be more abundant in the shallow quadrats of coarse-grained substrates, and substrate preference differed among species and stages. Current velocity and proximity to the terrestrial area were not significant for S. nipponica and Z. brevis, whereas adult Z. awana preferred faster-flowing currents and needed to the distance from the terrestrial areas. In winter (December), only the substrate size structure affected the abundance of adult elmid beetles. Although elmid beetles require highly sensitive habitats, they are easily surveyed. Therefore, they are convenient indicators of riverbed environments. Implications for insect conservation Preference of substrate sand size as their habitat differ among stages and seasons. Diverse substrate condition would be needed to conserve elmid beetles.
Mean (+ SD) of coverage area (ha) and number of patches of land use and occupation classes at different spatial scales. The classes are: non-vegetated areas (purple), grassland (blue), natural forest (green) and farming (orange). The spatial scales of the landscape were established within buffers of 0.5, 1, 1.5 and 2 km radius around organic farms cropping tomatoes in the Brazilian Federal District. The landscape classes were characterized based on the map of Cerrado biome from Collection 5 of Brazilian Annual Land Use and Land Cover Mapping Project – MapBiomas (Souza et al. 2020). (Color figure online)
Richness and abundance of bees (mean ± SE) on tomato and non-crop plants per functional group of buzz bees (light gray) and non-buzz bees (dark gray). Data refer to samples collected in three tomato-producing organic agricultural farms located in the Federal District – Brazil, from October to November 2020. Different letters indicate significant differences at P < 0.05 for fitted Generalized Linear Models (GLM). (Color figure online)
Observed and expected values of network metrics of the bee community in non-crop plants associated with tomato crop areas located in three farms that adopt the organic management system in the Federal District – Brazil, from October to November 2020. Green circles indicate the average observed values for network metrics. Black circles indicate the average expected values for random network metrics. Vertical bars indicate the standard deviation of the simulated values. Metrics: NODOF – weighted nestedness; NOHL – niche overlap high level; NOLL – niche overlap low level; RHL – robustness high level; RLL – robustness low level; and QBM – modularity QuanBiMo. (Color figure online)
Plant-floral visitor network and calculated metrics from the bee community associated with non-crop plants and tomato crops in three farms that adopt the organic management system in the Federal District – Brazil, from October to November 2020. a Centrality measures for plant species; the calculated metrics were degree (DEG), weighted-betweenness (BC), and weighted-closeness (CC). b Representation of the pollination networks obtained from field samples; black circles represent the species of flower-visiting bees, and green squares represent the plants. c Plot showing classification of the species into different modules according to the analysis of bipartite modularity QuanBiMo; black numbers and circles represent the species of flower-visiting bees, and green numbers and squares represent the plants. Red rectangles and squares represent species groupings (modules). The intensity of the purple squares indicates the relative abundance of each flower-visitor’s functional group per species. (Color figure online)
Landscape structure and local floral resources can modulate bee diversity and ecological interactions in agroecosystems. Theory predicts that, at different spatial scales, both factors may interact and influence assemblage patterns and interactions simultaneously, ultimately affecting the provision of ecosystem services. We investigated how habitat heterogeneity at different spatial scales influenced the assemblage of tomato flower-visiting bees in organic cropped areas in the Cerrado biome, Brazil, from 2019 to 2020. We also evaluated the structure and stability of the interaction network among tomatoes, non-crop plants, and bees. We found that landscape heterogeneity can benefit and serve as a source of bee species when natural vegetation remnants are not highly fragmented in the landscape. Non-crop plants increase the permeability of agroecosystems to bees by providing additional and diverse floral resources. The interaction network between non-crop plants and bees was found to be modular and robust, suggesting spatial habitat partitioning among the bee species. The presence of non-crop plants plays a central role in preventing bee species loss in the cropped areas by locally maintaining the stability of the interaction network. Implications for insect conservation Factors operating at multiple spatial scales determine species occurrence in the landscape, but local interactions with non-crop plants dictate habitat permeability to species. Such factors should be considered when designing strategies to make tropical agroecosystems more permeable and functional to bee biodiversity and the pollination services they provide.
Locations of the 22 study fields in Central Finland (A) (Maps: © National Land Survey of Finland, Topographic map series), and the placement of the pan traps in the study fields (B). Four groups of pan traps were placed at 0.5 m distances from field edges in each principal compass direction
Total abundance (A) and species richness (B) of hoverfly groups with different adult habitat preferences in caraway fields in Finland, and the proportions of larval feeding types in the hoverfly groups, based on abundance (C) and species richness (D). a = aphidophagous, p = phytophagous, s = saprophagous, and sx = sapro-xylophagous
Abundance and species richness of all hoverflies (A), forest species (B) and open-habitat species (C) in caraway fields in Finland in relation to the cover of arable land, forest, transitional woodland and water in the surrounding landscape within the 500 m radius. Lines in the scatterplots depict predicted values with 95% confidence intervals based on the models with ∆AICc < 2 (Table 2)
Abundance and species richness of wetland species (A) and mixed-habitat species (B) in caraway fields in Finland in relation to the cover of arable land, forest, transitional woodland and water in the surrounding landscape within the 500 m radius. Lines in the scatterplots depict predicted values with 95% confidence intervals based on the models with ∆AICc < 2 (Table 2)
Agricultural intensification has led to structurally simplified landscapes with reduced and fragmented resources for farmland insects. However, studies on the effects of landscape composition on farmland insects have mainly been performed in areas dominated by open arable land and semi-natural grasslands, while studies from forest-dominated landscapes are scarce. This research examined the effects of landscape composition on hoverfly species richness and abundance in arable land in boreal forest-dominated landscapes. Hoverflies were sampled in 22 mass-flowering caraway (Carum carvi) fields in Central Finland using pan traps. The effects of landscape composition on species richness and abundance were examined for all hoverflies, and for species groups with different adult habitat preferences. Landscape composition was measured as proportions of land cover classes within two different radii. Species richness and abundances of all hoverflies, forest species and open-habitat species increased with decreasing arable land cover and/or increasing forest cover within a 500 m radius (the two land cover classes strongly negatively correlated). Wetland species were most abundant in landscapes with an intermediate cover of arable land and forest, and most species-rich in landscapes with intermediate (10%) water cover. The species richness and abundance of mixed-habitat species increased with increasing cover of transitional woodland. Implications for insect conservation Our results show that most hoverfies in arable land benefit from increasing surrounding forest cover even in relatively heterogeneous, forest-dominated landscapes. Preserving or increasing the area of forests and other non-arable habitats is needed to safeguard a diversity of resources for hoverflies, and associated ecosystem services in farmland.
Galls induced by Lipara lucens on common reed are adopted by bees and wasps as a nesting cavity. Most of these species occur only in wetlands. Some of them are specialised or show strong preference to nest only in reed galls. In our manipulative study, we deployed trap nests of reed galls to 16 steppic grasslands or open sandy xerothermic habitats in the Czech Republic. Surprisingly, we reared from a total of 1,523 galls only 31 specimens of five nesting species and one predator-inquiline. Trap nests of identical design, which we previously deployed to wetlands, contained four-times more individuals of twice as many nesting species and four parasite species. Moreover, the most abundantly reared species in reed galls deployed to the steppic habitats was Pemphredon fabricii (58% of total individuals). This species is strictly specialised for nesting in reed beds. Therefore, this experiment revealed that bees and wasps of xerothermic habitats are likely to have difficulties in finding the gall opening. The cavities of similar size are readily occupied by xerothermophilous bees and wasps when provided. In contrast, despite the Lipara-induced reed gall having a broad opening, it is hidden at the top of the gall in fibrous remnants of leaves, and the non-specialist bees and wasps are unable to locate it. This is the first evidence on an overlooked aspect of cavity quality – the cavity may be present and suitable but is too difficult for the insect to find.
The Baja California peninsula (BCP), as part of the Californian biodiversity hotspot, contains complex and heterogeneous landscapes, arising from the interaction of local, historical, climatic and anthropogenic factors. The oases across BCP are contrasting habitats in the middle of arid conditions. These mesic environments are relictual habitats critical for the survival of many taxa. However, increasing human impacts and extreme climatic conditions are among the main threats to their conservation. Wild bees are among the less understood fauna inhabiting the oases in the BCP, thus the effects of both local and large-scale factors shaping the assemblages of these hymenopterans remain unknown. In this work, we aimed to study the communities of wild bees across different oases and their surrounding desert in the BCP. We recorded 151 species of wild bees from 48 genera and 6 families, with each location showing a unique assemblage of bees. <50% of the species were shared between oases and deserts, and 66% of the native bee species were considered rare. Both deserts and oases towards the central portion of the peninsula harbored the highest diversity levels. Relative effects of local, regional, and large-scale factors differentially explained the difference in bee composition, richness and abundance among the study landscapes.
Study area. Land-use map of 11 study sites landscapes where mosquitoes were collected in the Porto Alegre region, the capital of Rio Grande do Sul state, the southernmost state of Brazil. Sites are numbered according to Table 1. Each point represents a trap and the lines represent a 1-km buffer around traps
Representative images of sampling locations and BG-Pro traps. A Sampling site 3. B Sampling site 1. C Sampling site 9. D BG-Pro catch bags with mosquitoes from sampling site 11
Redundancy analysis ordination of mosquitoes’ species in relation to landscape metrics (cover percentage of urban and temporary crops). Sites are numbered according to Table 1
Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) from Porto Alegre region (Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil) remain understudied. We therefore investigated mosquitoes occurring in 11 sites of this region, and evaluated which landscape features may explain the variation of species richness and composition of mosquito populations in different urban-natural areas of the study region. Using BG-Pro traps, we collected 4311 mosquitoes, from at least 50 species, 14 genera, and two subfamilies. Mansonia titillans (n = 598, 13.87%), Culex spp. (n = 513, 11.9%), and Mansonia wilsonii (n = 502, 11.65%) were the most abundant taxa. Aedes aegypti (n = 36, 0.84%) is potentially exploring new landscapes in the region, beyond human habitations. We identified two new descriptions for the Rio Grande do Sul state, Mansonia pessoai (n = 70, 1.62%) and Toxorhynchites theobaldi (n = 6, 0.14%). The model selection procedure identified that the percentage coverage of temporary crops and the Simpson’s diversity index at landscape level as possible variables explaining the species richness, while percentage coverage of urban and temporary crops were the best predictors of species composition. BG-Pro traps were efficient for catching several adult mosquito species including Toxorhynchites mosquitoes. Therefore, this could be an interesting sampling methodology for mosquito surveillance. Implications for insect conservation: This study expanded the knowledge about Culicidae diversity in Brazil, highlighted the importance of green urban areas for biodiversity conservation, and provided data for entomological surveillance programs. This study also contributes to the conservation of mosquito species that pose no risk to human health (e.g., Toxorhynchites), highlighting that such species have relevant ecological roles, unrelated to disease transmission.
Male Carabus menetriesi at our study site in Southern Bavaria, 20.6.2016. Photo I. Harry
Effect plots from our selected model for detection (a) and occupancy (b–d) of C. menetriesi. Shown are the response scale effects of the individual habitat covariates in the ‘unmarked’ model, along with the 95% confidence interval (grey area). The mean occupancy rate (b–d) are shown as horizontal dashed lines. The real data are superimposed on plots b-d and show the mean occupancy for each class of covariates. The size of each diamond represents the proportion of samples taken in each class relative to all samples. For each plot, all other covariates were held constant at their mean value
Occupancy of exemplary sites in the years 2016 (blue) and 2018 (orange). Position of sites with no catches are indicated by crosses; points indicate position of sites with recorded specimen; the bigger the points are the more individuals were caught. Each transect consisting of five traps is 40 m long
Within the Natura 2000 network, there is a legal imperative to protect endangered species. A lack of knowledge about habitat requirements for these species undermines the ability to make informed decisions about appropriate conservation measures, especially for isolated populations that may have developed habitat preferences specific to their region. Carabus menetriesi is an endangered ground beetle found in Europe and warrants protection under EU law. We collected occupancy data of C. menetriesi using live pitfall traps over two seasons in 2016 and 2018 at a protected nature reserve in southern Bavaria, Germany. Here, we present the results of a patch-occupancy modeling approach to determine habitat preferences for C. menetriesi at this site. Our model shows that increasing Sphagnum cover and habitat diversity led to higher occupancy levels for C. menetriesi at this site, while tree cover was negatively correlated with occupancy, but increased the detectability of the species. Implications for insect conservation Measures for protecting the C. menetriesi population at the study site were taken in accordance with our results. Areas with high tree cover were thinned at several sites, although the success of this measure has yet to be determined. Our findings about habitat diversity suggest that expansion of low intensity grazing in the area, a measure that was suggested as a result of our survey and is currently in process of implementation, might benefit the species. Whether our results can be transferred to C. menetriesi populations in different habitats remains to be investigated, however, our methodological approach with regard to both the data collection and analysis can be used to assess other populations and provide important information about relevant habitat parameters for that population. This will allow conservation managers to make well-informed decisions about conserving C. menetriesi, or indeed other similar carabid species with isolated populations.
Map of Brazil, with the dark gray area representing the Cerrado biome, and map of the study region showing the location of the 35 sampling sites
Land use differences in the species richness of Euglossini bees (A) and in the abundance of the five most common species: BEulaema nigrita, CEulaema cingulata, DEuglossa cordata, EEuglossa imperialis, FExaerete smaragdina. Different letters above boxplots indicate significant differences in mean values. In panels C to F, comparisons were based on planned contrasts (native habitats x anthropogenic land uses) given small sample sizes
Land use differences in the body size of Eulaema nigrita males. A Head width, B thorax width and C size of the forewing (centroid size). Different letters in the bottom of panel C indicate significant differences in mean body size (considering all the three morphological traits) between land uses as revealed by multivariate analysis of variance
Fluctuating asymmetry in the size and shape of the forewings of El. nigrita males collected in different land uses. Different letters above boxplots indicate significant differences in mean values
Natural landscapes are facing rapid transformation in many parts of the world, but the consequences of such changes for insects are poorly known. We evaluated how the conversion of the savannas and forests from Brazil´s Cerrado into lands devoted to intensive agriculture, livestock, or plantation forestry affects euglossine bees. We determined the effects of land-use change on the species richness of euglossines, and functional traits related to the body size and wing fluctuating asymmetry (FA) of a habitat generalist species. Few species were recorded in the anthropogenic land uses and most presented lower abundances in the converted than in the native habitats. The exception was Eulaema nigrita, whose average abundance in cattle pastures and in soy fields did not differ from that observed in the native habitats. However, El. nigrita males collected in pastures or in soy fields were significantly smaller than those from savannas and forests, whereas those from eucalypt tree plantations were smaller than those from savanna. Furthermore, El. nigrita males from the tree plantations had higher levels of FA in wing shape than those from native forests. Implications for conservation Our results showed that land-use change in the Cerrado biodiversity hotspot causes the impoverishment and homogenization of the Euglossini fauna. Furthermore, we found evidence that the converted habitats present more stressful conditions for the larval development of some species. This indicates that the conservation of euglossine populations in human- modified Cerrado landscapes depends largely on the presence of protected areas, including those within rural private land as required by Brazil´s Native Vegetation Protection Law.
Photos of study sites from two triplets on Annaburroo Station, Northern Territory, Australia, showing effects of grazing (a, d – no grazing; b, e – low grazing; c, f – high grazing) on ground-layer vegetation
Mean (± SE) percentage of cover of (a) perennial grasses, (b) bare ground, (c) litter and (d) herbs in relation to three grazing classes on Annaburroo Station, Northern Territory, Australia
Mean (± SE) total ant abundance (a) and species richness (b) in relation to three grazing classes on Annaburroo Station, Northern Territory, Australia
Mean (± SE) abundance of Iridomyrmex sanguineus in relation to three grazing classes on Annaburroo Station, Northern Territory, Australia
Canonical Correspondence Analysis of ant species composition at the 36 study plots on Annaburroo Station, Northern Territory, Australia. Variation in species composition was not related to either grazing or ground-layer habitat variables (p = 0.308)
Introduction Evolutionary traits acquired in response to one type of disturbance will potentially confer resilience to other disturbances that have similar environmental impacts, even if the biota has no evolutionary history of such disturbances. In grassy ecosystems the environmental impacts of grazing have important similarities to those of fire through the removal of grass biomass, and we hypothesise that high resilience to frequent fire confers high resilience to grazing. Aims We test this hypothesis by investigating the resilience of highly fire-resilient ant communities to grazing in a mesic Australian savanna, which has not historically experienced such high levels of mammalian grazing. Methods We sampled ants using pitfall traps at Annaburroo Station in the Australian seasonal tropics using ten plot triplets, with each triplet representing no, low and heavy grazing. Grazing has had a major impact on the basal area of perennial grasses and the cover of bare ground. We considered large (> 4 mm) ants only, which tend to be particularly sensitive to disturbance. Results We recorded 28 species of ‘large’ ants from 14 genera. Neither ant species richness nor overall composition varied significantly with grazing, and only one of the eight most common species responded to grazing. Discussion Ant communities at Annaburoo Station are highly resilient to livestock grazing. The limited number of relevant studies suggest that ant communities in Australian savannas more generally have higher resilience than those in southern rangelands where fire frequency is relatively low. This supports our hypothesis that an evolutionary history of frequent fire confers resilience to grazing. Many more studies are required, but we suggest that resilience to grazing might be related more to evolutionary history in relation to fire, a more pervasive remover of plant biomass globally, than to grazing. Implications for insect conservation Grazing by cattle is the dominant land-use in Australian savannas and the Australian savanna ant fauna is one of the richest on Earth; our findings of high resilience is therefore good news for insect conservation. Such good news is likely to have wide applicability to other fire-prone grassy ecosystems subject to livestock grazing.
Map showing the distribution P. longicauda. Dots represent sites identified by this study in Romania (Mureş, Danube Delta, Prut and Bega rivers) and Ukraine (Styr and Horyn’). Triangles show reported presence by the literature in Hungary (Rába River and Tisza River basin—Bálint et al. 2012), in Republic of Moldova (Prut and Dniester rivers—Munjiu 2018) and in Romania (Danube Delta—Pavel et al. 2019). The small map shows the Hungarian lowlands and the Pontic province ecoregions according to the European Union (EU) ecoregions for rivers and lakes (European Environment Agency,
a Typical P. longicauda habitat with steep clay banks (Mureş River, Nădlac, Arad county, photo: Vaida R.); b group of individuals during the mass swarming (Danube Delta, Maliuc, Tulcea county, photo: Petrescu D.); c modified “Bager” device; d the openings of the horizontal U-shaped borrows made by the larvae (Prut River, Iaşi county, photo: Vaida R.); e larva in the burrow (Mureş River, Nădlac, Arad county, photo: Vaida R.)
Median-Joining haplotype network generated for the concatenated dataset using PopArt 1.7. Each circle represents a unique haplotype and circle size is proportional to the number of samples observed for that haplotype. The number of mutations is represented by hatch marks on the lines. Colours correspond to different rivers. H1, H2, and H3 correspond to the three major haplotypes discussed in the text. (Color figure online)
The presence of Palingenia longicauda was considered to be restricted to the Tisza River basin (sub-basin of the Danube River Basin) and the Rába River (Austria and Hungary), but new reports indicate its presence in the Danube River (Hungary), the Danube Delta (Romania and Ukraine), and in the Prut River and the Dniester River (Republic of Moldova). We assessed the genetic diversity of the species by analysing the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (mtCOI) and large ribosomal subunit 16S rRNA (mt16S LSU) sequences of individuals from Romanian, Ukrainian, and Hungarian populations. The identified high number of endemic haplotypes that are confined to the Danube Delta and the Prut River, and the statistically significant differentiation found between the populations, suggest that the populations of these two rivers had independent histories. These results confirm the survival and recovery of Palingenia longicauda in Southeastern Europe. The species is an indicator of good ecological conditions of large rivers, therefore, this recovery may be related to the hydro-morphological integrity of the studied river sections. Large colonies of larvae were found only on near-natural steep clay banks that were under the protection of local natural parks and biodiversity reserves, close to the state borders, where human activities are more restricted. Implications for insect conservation The genetically differentiated populations from Romania can contribute to conservation and long-term survival of P. longicauda. As freshwater ecosystems are under constant anthropogenic pressure, our results lay the basis for a scientifically well-documented management of the conservation of the species in its whole range.
a Location of the study area and experimental design at Krusenberg estate, 17 kms south of Uppsala, Sweden (59° 44′ N 17° 40′ E).
© Lantmäteriet. Red asterisks in grasslands represent approximate locations of latrines surveyed in 2016. b Vegetation and grasshopper surveys. Plant species were surveyed in seven paired grazed and ungrazed plots (25 dm²) equidistant 2.5 m. For grasshoppers, every second grassland plot was surveyed (green quadrats) equidistant 5 m. c Butterfly and bumblebee surveys were performed in 5 × 5 m plots shaded in grey in both grazed and ungrazed areas. Figure adapted from Garrido et al. (2019). (Color figure online)
Interacting effect of treatment (grazed vs. ungrazed) and time (x-axes) on grasshopper species richness (y-axes)
Proportion of grasshopper species found in grazed (n = 9), ungrazed (n = 9) and latrine (n = 7) habitats in 2016
Grassland ecosystems are species-rich habitats that are rapidly declining globally posing serious concerns for biodiversity conservation. This situation is particularly relevant in agricultural areas in Europe. As traditional management practices and livestock grazing regimes ceased, rewilding could be a potential avenue to tackle current biodiversity declines. To test this hypothesis, we set up a 3-year experiment where 12 horses were introduced in three 10-hectare enclosure replicates (four horses per enclosure). Horses were kept without supplementary feeding to mimic ecosystem functions of wild horses. We applied Generalized Linear Mixed Effects Models and a backward stepwise model selection procedure to elucidate factors that modulate insect richness induced by grazing. Our results show that plant species richness, the proportion of flowers and plant height play a significant role for butterfly and bumblebee richness, while the opposite effect was detected for grasshoppers. However, the effect on grasshoppers was counterbalanced by increased grasshopper species richness in habitats adjacent to horse latrines. Implications for insect conservation Rewilding with horses may offset current biodiversity declines by maintaining important functional links between plants and pollinators in grassland ecosystems. Horse grazing can however have different effects on diverse functional groups of insects. Application of integrative landscape scale approaches may be needed to elucidate the effects of rewilding for certain functional groups such as grasshoppers. With current biodiversity declines, up-scaling rewilding research and practice might be crucial to mitigate the pervasive effects on insects as their services and functions are critical for our existence.
Map of the sampling sites with location of the Jermy-type light trap with mercury-vapour lamp (A; empty triangle) and portable light traps (B; empty circle) with different light sources in the surroundings of Velyka Dobron’. black: rivers, channels, and other water bodies; dark grey: forests; middle grey: semi-natural grasslands; light grey: arable lands
The spectral distribution of the light sources used for caddisfly samplings in Velyka Dobron’ Game Reserve (W Ukraine). MV: mercury-vapour lamp; W: mixed-white light tube; L1, L2: LED lights; UV1, UV2, UV3: UV light tubes
The attraction of the caddisfly families to different light sources based on the number of caught individuals (individuals/sample). Small letters indicate significant differences between light sources based on Mann-Whitney U-test, P < 0.05. MV: mercury-vapour lamp; W: mixed-white light tube; L1, L2: LED lights; UV1, UV2, UV3: UV light tubes
The artificial light sources are useful tools for sampling night active insects, however, they also possess potential environmental risks in their habitats. To test their applicability and evaluate environmental risk for caddisflies (Trichoptera), the attractivity of different portable light traps working with LED, UV and mixed-white light sources was studied and compared with attractivity of traditionally used mercury-vapour lamp (in Jermy-type light trap), which is tool of sampling and street-light. Analysing 1135 caught individuals of 19 species light sources emitting different wavelength spectra showed different attractivity and selectivity on caddisflies both on species and family levels. Attractivity of mercury-vapour lamp was generally lower than the other tested light sources. We found that the most attractive wavelength range for caddisflies is between 360 and 407 nm. One of the tested LED and mixed-white lamps together could cover this spectrum and a high and wide spectral peak of mixed-white light source between 375 and 391 nm resulted additional catches considering both species and number of individuals. Lamps emitting between 360 and 407 nm may be both a useful tool for sampling caddisflies and dangerous source of light pollution along lowland water courses where the sampled species are common and widespread.
The first step in monitoring and management of any taxa includes resolving taxonomic ambiguities which complicate the identification of its management units. One of the long-standing issues in saproxylic beetle taxonomy includes the case of Morimus asper (Sulzer, 1776) species complex, which comprises several protected taxa. An integrative approach based on multilocus genetic markers and geometric morphometric assessment of phenotypic characters was applied on Serbian populations of M. asper complex members and compared to published data to determine the existence of separate conservation units. The results indicate the existence of at least two evolutionarily and demographically distinct groups within M. asper complex on the Balkan Peninsula. We discuss the discordance between delimitation based on traditional morphological characters and the one rooted in novel genetic and geometric morphometric data. Implications for insect conservation With the emphasis on dead wood protection and regulation in forest ecosystems suffering from intense commercial exploitation, distinct lineages within M. asper taxonomic complex on the Balkan Peninsula should still be protected in the same manner for now, until the key missing points necessary for the improvement of the complex management are addressed in the future studies.
The desert sand-skipper Croitana aestiva Edwards is endemic to central Australia, a region with a semi-arid climate. The species was known from a total of eight specimens collected in 1966 and 1972 at three locations west of Alice Springs but was then not positively recorded for the next 35 years, leading to its listing nationally as an Endangered species. In February 2007 a population was rediscovered during targeted surveys following a significant rainfall event, leading to the broader question of how climate influences its life cycle. In this paper I describe the species’ distribution, listing all the localities at which the species was observed during targeted surveys from 2007 to 2010. Adult phenology of one population over this period is presented, along with that for the closely related inland sand-skipper Croitana arenaria arenaria Edwards, which occurs in the same area. The desert sand-skipper is now known from 13 extant locations, of which 11 are new. This species has a calculated Extent of Occurrence of 1141 square kilometres and an Area of Occupancy of 48 square kilometres, but the true distribution is likely to be greater. Adults of both Croitana Waterhouse taxa are entirely dependent on adequate rainfall for emergence, with more adults after greater rainfall. Both taxa are threatened by the increased frequency and intensity of wildfires promoted by buffel grass (Cenchrus ciliaris L.) (Poaceae) an exotic pasture grass, as well as climate change. Implications for insect conservation Baseline distributional information presented in this paper will be essential for monitoring and future assessments of conservation status. Understanding adult phenology will be crucial to future conservation efforts as the impacts of climate change in central Australia become clearer.
In ecology, dealing with sample design is a constant challenge, especially in interaction networks, where most studies suffer from undersampling. Different sampling methods are used in interaction networks, from continuous observations over time to observations at the peak of flowering of plants. However, species richness and abundance vary crucially over time. Therefore, there is significant uncertainty about how far we are from complete sampling. This study used data from a biweekly sampling of insect-plant interactions in a highly diverse biome over an entire year to quantify this uncertainty by identifying the required effort to achieve sampling completeness. We also extended this investigation to each of the four seasons. We used accumulation curves based on abundance data to estimate the sampling deficiency. In addition, we fit nonlinear models to estimate the sampling effort required to achieve completeness based on six network-level metrics. Subsequently, we sought to identify the factors responsible for the difference in sampling completeness. We found that the sampling effort carried out was sufficient to record most animals and blooming plants throughout all seasons. As for interactions, a substantial increase in sampling effort would be required to achieve sampling completeness, especially in fall and spring. Furthermore, we have seen that the dissimilarity of interactions between seasons is the main factor that influences the completeness of the sampling. Finally, we observed that the main factor influencing the dissimilarity of interactions was the links turnover and that such alterations possibly occur due to changes in species composition, especially of plants Implications for insect conservation Our results show that the sampling effort to be carried out in each season is different, due to the interactions dissimilarity between seasons. In this sense, it is important to carry out studies with interaction networks covering the different seasons of the year, in order to understand the effects of seasonality on plant-floral visitor interactions and the role of temporal dynamics of interactions in the conservation of species in highly diverse tropical areas.
A large number and diverse array of pollinator species are essential to provide effective and sustainable pollination of crops and wild plants. However, we are at risk of losing these benefits, and many others, with the ongoing and dramatic decline of pollinators witnessed around the world. Flowering weeds, though often deemed undesirable in the agriculture field, provide food resources for declining pollinator populations in urbanized landscapes. Thus, this study emphasizes the importance of Leucas aspera (Willd.) in the conservation of insect pollinators. We documented the diversity of floral visiting insects on Leucas aspera flowers at GKVK, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India, during 2021-22. The pollinator community was composed of twenty-one hymenopteran species, four species each from Diptera and Lepidoptera, two coleopteran species, and one species from Hemiptera. This herbaceous weed can provide suitable habitat not only for honey bees but also for other wild pollinators. We stress the importance of planting this plant along field edges to conserve pollinators during the dearth period.
Location and topography of Taiwan. (a) Geographic map of the study area; (b) B. formosellus occurrence record and digital elevation model, brighter colors indicate higher elevations
Response curves of the primary contribution variables according to the ensemble prediction
Suitable habitats of B. formosellus, at current and in 2070s under various climate change scenarios
Two spatial pattern indexes for suitable habitats of B. formosellus, currently and in 2070s under various climate change scenarios
Introduction: Climate change is threatening biodiversity hotspots. Notably, alpine bumblebees, which are mostly associated with a cold ecological niche, face a higher risk of extinction. Bombus formosellus is one of the alpine bumblebees endemic to Taiwan. Aims/Methods: In this study, we use ensemble ecological niche modeling for the first time to predict spatial and temporal dynamics for habitats suitable to B. formosellus under current and future climate scenarios (representative concentration pathway, RCP 2.6, 4.5, and 8.5 in the 2070s). Results: This model identified that the cool temperature with low variation, a specific range of precipitation and presence of coniferous forest and grasslands were the key factors affecting the distribution of B. formosellus. Using modeling to predict suitable habitats under various scenarios, we discovered that, compared with the current climatic conditions, the predicted suitable habitat area in the future decreased regardless of which climate change scenario was applied. In particular, RCP 8.5 appeared to be the most significant, with an area loss of nearly 87%, and fragmentation of the landscape with poor connection. Discussion: In summary, our analyses indicate that cool environments are suitable for B. formosellus. However, Taiwan’s warming is more significant in the high mountains than in the plains. The climate change trajectory may become increasingly unfavorable to B. formosellus. Consequently, this species may face the risk of extinction in the future. Implications for insect conservation: We predict that many suitable habitats of B. formosellus will disappear or become fragmented in the future. Therefore, the remaining patches have become important refuges, and protection measures in these areas should be strengthened.
Integrating aspects of larval lepidopteran behavior that enhance survival into conservation plans could increase the overall impact of the efforts. We previously recommended that where possible, maintaining 2–4 ramets of closely-spaced common milkweed would support the development of at least one monarch through pupation, based on a seemingly innate behavior in which monarch larvae ( Danaus plexippus ) abandon their natal milkweed ramet ( Asclepias sp.). Here, we explored the impact of intraspecific competition on larval ramet abandonment behavior and fitness of monarch larvae in small artificial milkweed patches. We observed larvae reared under direct and indirect intraspecific competition, and larvae reared alone. We found no influence of intraspecific competition; however, our study provides further support that milkweed ramet abandonment is a seemingly innate behavior. This behavior occurs before all of the available leaf biomass on a ramet is consumed and prior to the pre-pupal wandering stage. Implications for insect conservation: Results from our study suggest that in the absence of predation, parasitism, and interspecific competition, and when sufficient plant biomass is present to support larval development, the presence of an intraspecific competitor does not influence larval behavior or fitness. Based on milkweed ramet abandonment behavior, we continue to suggest maintaining small patches of 2–4 milkweed ramets when possible.
Location of the four study sites with details of the soil profiles and subterranean traps; 1—Belinské Rocks, 2—Drienok Valley, 3—Slope near the entrance to Ardovská Cave, 4—Slope near the entrance to Silická ľadnica Cave
Vertical distribution of coleopterans specimens (A, C, E, G) and species (B, D, F, H) along the depth gradient in different fixative solutions (data recalculated for the same number of traps) in four localities from Slovakia (red bars = formaldehyde, blue bars = ethylene glycol, Trend line: dotted = formaldehyde, dashed = ethylene glycol). (Color figure online)
Cluster analysis of population similarity based on the Sørensen index (Sø) among the four localities (BR Belinské Rocks, DV Drienok Valley, AC slope near the entrance to Ardovská Cave, SC slope near the entrance to Silická ľadnica Cave)
The present study expands knowledge on terrestrial beetles, especially those of the subterranean habitats, in Western Carpathians. All the areas are situated in the southern part of the Western Carpathians (Slovakia). The structure of the beetle communities was evaluated by characterizing the spatial and depth distribution in forested screes. Beetle assemblages were studied using subterranean traps filled with two different fixative solutions, ethylene glycol and formaldehyde, inserted at depths from 5 to 95 cm through a plastic tube. Activity of beetles was the 45.5% of all specimens recorded in 5 cm, 16.5% in 15 cm, 7.4% in 25 cm below the surface, also relative increased activity was recorded in 85 cm (4.2%) in comparison with other depths. Effectivity of fixative solutions was non-significant. In total 1027 ex. belonging to 156 species were sampled. The scarce and very interesting species Ptomaphagus sericatus (Chaudoir, 1845), Omalium validum Kraatz, 1858 and Quedius mesomelinus mesomelinus (Marsham, 1802) as well as the endemic hypogeophile species Duvalius (Duvalius) goemoeriensis (Bokor, 1922) and Duvalius bokori gelidus (Csiki, 1912) were found. The species Oxylaemus variolosus (Dufour, 1843) (Bothrideridae) is a new species for the fauna of Slovakia, and Agaricophagus reitteri Ganglbauer, 1899 (Leiodidae) is confirmed for the fauna of Slovakia after 90 years. Implications for insect conservation This study has implications for insect conservation by providing important baseline data on beetle taxa for future monitoring and assessment of this ecologically sensitive region. The data obtained on the biology can be exploited for future initiatives for the species conservation. It would be appropriate to re-evaluate the localities of the species Duvalius bokori gelidus and classify them in a higher degree of territorial conservation.
Species accumulation curves of the total nummer of beetle and grass species captured indicating the adequacy of the fauna and flora survey in the study sites
Box plot of the impact of management type and season on species richness of 1) grasses and 2) beetles on holistic livestock and wildlife management. Mean count values of species number ± standard deviation are shown in February (light grey), May (grey) and August (dark grey)
Seasonal changes in species composition of grasses and beetles for two management types. Non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) showing species compositional clusters in seasons of 1) grasses and 2) beetles collected from a) February, b) May and c) August and d) across all seasons in holistic (open circles) and wildlife (closed circles) management
Savannahs are often branded by livestock grazing with resulting land degradation. Holistic management of livestock was proposed to contribute to biodiversity conservation by simulating native wildlife grazing behaviour. This study attempts the comparison of the impact of a holistic management regime to a wildlife grazing management regime on grass and ground-dwelling beetle species diversity on neighboring farms in Namibian rangeland. Results show that the response of biodiversity in species richness and composition to holistic management of livestock differs substantially from wildlife grazing with a positive impact. From a total of 39 identified species of ground-dwelling beetles (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae, Carabidae) from 29 genera, eight species were found to be indicators for holistic management of livestock and three were found to be indicators for wildlife grazed rangeland. Observations suggest that holistic management of livestock may contribute to biodiversity conservation, but the differential effect of grazing management on species assemblages suggests that livestock grazing cannot replace native wildlife herbivory. Implications for insect conservation An adaptive management strategy such as holistic management used in this study shows the potential to support high beetle biodiversity. Holistic management of livestock thus aspects in favour for a sustainable form of grazing management for insect conservation even though it does not functionally replace grazing by native wildlife.
The mean number, ± SE, of the larvae detected per survey year from the same study islands. Sample size and number of detected larvae are reported in Table 1B. Lighter colored dots represent the more recent years and dots with grey coloration represent the historical years
Probability of occupancy (ψ) of P. apollo larvae on 50 islands monitored in all survey years (see also Table 1B). For the years 2019 and 2020 occupancy model estimates of ψ are presented with constant detection probability (p) with 95% confidence intervals. For the historical data (years 1997, 1999–2003) estimates of occupancy probability are based on the reported values presented in Table 1B and naïve occupancy estimates are corrected with 97% detection probability. The first two lighter colored dots with bars represent the recent survey and darker coloured dots with bars the historical survey
Insect groups are declining worldwide; Lepidoptera are among the taxa most affected in terrestrial ecosystems. The main drivers of these declines are a diverse set of factors relating to environmental change including habitat loss, pollution, and climate change. In 2019 and 2020, we surveyed 118 and 90 islands, respectively, in southern Finland’s archipelago for occupancy of Parnassius apollo larvae and counted the abundance of their host plant Hylotelephium telephium. Compared with historical data (1997–2003), the occupancy of Apollo butterfly larvae has decreased remarkably from about 75% to about 20% of islands and abundance declined as well. However, the abundance of their host plant has not changed. Occupancy models showed that the present occupancy probability is not affected by host plant numbers, and shows substantial colonization-extinction dynamics making the population vulnerable to stochastic extinction. Implications for insect conservation Our results show that this Apollo butterfly population is declining, and conservation actions are needed.
Location of the study region and of the two basins (V. velutina invaded/uninvaded) where the sampling was performed. Triangles indicate the position of the sampling traps. The red–brown area is the area colonised by V. velutina before the experiment was carried out according to a range analysis of V. velutina colonies (see Bertolino et al. 2016 and Lioy et al. 2019 for insights on the methodology)
Marginal effects of the daily catches of V. velutina over the daily catches of V. crabro, in the invaded area
Daily catches of native V. crabro, V. germanica and V. vulgaris between the uninvaded and the invaded areas
Invasive alien species could generate a multitude of impacts towards native species. The introduction and spread of Vespa velutina in Europe is raising concern for the conservation of insect’s biodiversity, including wasps due to predation, competition or a combination of these two mechanisms. Nevertheless, most evidence for negative effects on other wasps are based on laboratory experiments, direct observations, and on considerations about the biology and ecology of Vespidae. No field study in Europe explored how the abundance of V. velutina could affect the population of native Vespidae, as expected in case of competition and predation. We analysed how the abundance of V. velutina influenced that of Vespa crabro , 4 years after the arrival and establishment of V. velutina in our study area, in Italy. Moreover, we compared the abundances of three native Vespidae ( V. crabro , Vespula vulgaris , Vespula germanica ), between our study area and an adjacent uninvaded area with similar environmental conditions. Bayesian Generalized Linear Models revealed that the abundance of V. velutina and V. crabro was positively associated, where V. velutina was scarce. Covariation disappeared only at those trapping sites where V. velutina was extremely abundant. Moreover, abundances of native wasps were similar between the invaded and the uninvaded areas. Implications for insect conservation The wide-scale monitoring activity performed to investigate the effects of V. velutina on native wasps has not detected any negative effects in relation to the presence of the invasive species. More effort is however requested for understanding if V. velutina could really affect native Vespidae at the population-level.
Potential distribution maps for the butterflies aParides ascanius and bBattus polystictus predicted by the The Ecological Niche Models (ENMs) derived from three coupled Atmosphere-Ocean General Circulation Models (AOGCM) in three periods in time: pres (present) and future—RCP4.5, optimistic scenario and RCP8.5, pessimistic scenario. Black dots indicate data points in time present
Change in potential distribution of the butterflies aParides ascanius and bBattus polystictus in two future scenarios (RCP4.5, optimistic scenario and RCP8.5, pessimistic scenario) derived from three coupled Atmosphere-Ocean General Circulation Models (AOGCM). Shaded areas in the maps: Green—forecasted future distribution overlap with current potential distribution; Blue—area with predicted possibility of occurrence expansion, but no adequate conditions at present; Red: predicted future retraction of present potential distribution
Overlap between the potential distribution of butterflies and their host plants at present and under two future CO2 emissions scenario (RCP4.5, optimistic scenario and RCP8.5, pessimistic scenario) by the The Ecological Niche Models (ENMs) derived from three coupled Atmosphere-Ocean General Circulation Models (AOGCM). aP. ascanius and A. macroura; bB. polystictus and A. triangularis; cB. polystictus and A. melastoma. Colors indicate estimated potential distribution of species and potential interactions: Blue: butterfly; Red: host plant; Green: overlap between estimated butterfly and host plant potential distribution.
a Change in potential distribution of butterfly species and their host plant species (s) in three periods in time: pres (present) and future-RCP4.5, optimistic scenario and RCP8.5, pessimistic scenario. P. ascanius and A. gigantea. b Interaction of species with their host-plant (s) characteristics in the scenarios: pres (present) and future—RCP4.5, optimistic scenario and RCP8.5, pessimistic scenario. Asterisk indicates significant difference between species pairwise interactions (p = 0.023). Asterisk inside the circle indicates significant difference between species pairwise interactions without P. ascanius and A. macroura (p = 0.045)
Climate change is currently considered one key threat to biodiversity. Species with a restricted distribution possibly will be more affected than those with wide ranges. Climate change can potentially affect both herbivores and their host plants and reduce their geographical ranges. The nature and intensity of their responses, however, may not necessarily match. We investigated the synergistic effects of climate change on two Neotropical butterfly species and their respective host plants at the end of twenty-first century. The species selected contrast in distribution extent, feeding habits and conservation status: Battus polystictus is widespread, oligophagous and common and Parides ascanius has a restricted distribution, is monophagous and is listed as vulnerable in the IUCN red list. Maps of the potential distribution of the butterflies and their host plants, as well as maps showing the changes in the ranges, in overlap area and direction of shifts were produced. Under forecasted climate change, all ranges and interaction areas decreased and the impacts were proportional to the intensity of change in future scenarios, either when compared all together or pairwise (p < 0.001). Based in our results estimation of climatically suitability, the monophagous butterfly with restricted distribution did suffer more severely these effects than the widespread generalist species. We did not anticipate, however, the possible strength of the predicted effects. Under the conditions modelled, P. ascanius would probably find no suitable conditions for occurrence, irrespectively of its host plant, and might go extinct. B. polystictus, on the other hand, suffered marked decreases in suitable area (46% for RCP4.5 and 91% for RCP8.5) and dramatic southward shifts (> 1439 km for RCP4.5 and > 1956 km for RCP8.5) on its range. This effect is further worsening because although most host plants are also much affected by the changes, the shift in their ranges is on average much smaller and each species responded in subtly different ways to the changing conditions, so that most of their future range may be spatially incompatible with the B. polystictus. We propose that the extinction risk of P. ascanius should be adjusted to critically endangered and point that species interactions and climate change must be accounted for in conservation planning. Implications for insect conservation The assessment carried out in this study contributes to the knowledge of climate change scenarios of butterfly species correlated with their host plants until the end of this century. These results can propose priority sites for conservation efforts like contribute to change status of P. ascanius to critically endangered, actually listed as vulnerable on the IUCN red list.
Mean expected difference in richness (future–present) by reference to present estimated values (from accumulation curves, left column) and to present predicted values (predicted by the models, right column). The values shown in the legend are the limits of the ranges used for colour labelling. Certainty (see text) is represented by black dots. All values averaged from the 12 models where Completeness was not used as a covariable (details in Tables S4, S5 and S6). The cells marked with white circles are those without sufficient information to calculate estimated richness; this was replaced by their know species numbers (Sobs) for graphic presentation only, their values may be not reliable
of the effects of the main sources of variation in model building (climate scenario, type of treatment of Completeness, relevance of climate variables and subset of variables included) on the richness forecasts (future scenarios), and on the expected differences in species richness, both by reference to the present estimates and to those predicted by each model. The data show Least Square means (details in Supplementary Table S5) with 95% confidence limits. All the differences between means within each of the four factors are significant (p < 0.01, post-hoc Fisher tests) except for the pairs connected by dashed lines and labelled ‘n.s.’
We estimated the potential impact of Global Warming on the species richness of Iberian butterflies. First, we determined the grid size that maximized the balance between geographic resolution, area coverage and environmental representativeness. Contemporary richness was modelled in several alternative ways that differed in how sampling effort was controlled for, and in whether the non-climatic variables (physiography, lithology, position) were incorporated. The results were extrapolated to four WorldClim scenarios. Richness loss is to be expected for at least 70% of the area, with forecasts from the combined models being only slightly more optimistic than those from the purely climatic ones. Overall, the most intense losses are predicted for areas of highest contemporary species richness, while the potential slightly positive or nearly neutral changes would most often concentrate in cells of low to moderate present richness. The environmental determinants of richness might not be uniform across the geographical range of sampling effort, suggesting the need of additional data from the least intensively surveyed areas. Implications for insect conservation Re-assessing richness and its environmental determinants in the area proves necessary for more detailed forecasts of the climate-driven changes in butterfly species richness. The expected future conditions imply widespread losses of regional richness, even under the less severe scenarios. Since the negative impact of warming is expected to be extensive, long term conservation plans should concentrate in the present protected areas of highest richness as these are most likely to represent the last refuges for mountain species.
A) The sampling region: greater Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia; B) Myotis macropus colonies sampled in the greater Brisbane area from culverts in three land use categories (non-urban, suburban, urban)
Community composition of ectoparasites sampled from Myotis macropus
A) Australian myotis batfly (Basilia hamsmithi) male; B) female; C) New Holland bat-wing mite (Spinturnix novaehollandiae) male; D) female
A) Mean load of Basilia hamsmithi and Spinturnix novaehollandiae on infested Myotis macropus across an urban gradient (error bars represent standard error), B) proportion of Basilia hamsmithi and Spinturnix novaehollandiae collected from the sampling sites (Sites MC and K categorized as Grazing native vegetation (GNV); B1, B2, UB1, UB2, UB3, and UB4 categorized as Rural residential without agriculture (RR); I categorized as Cultural and recreational (CR))
Location (denoted by an asterisk) of parasite spillover from Miniopterus sp. bats to Myotis macropus
Urbanisation has a wide range of impacts on biodiversity, but its effects on parasitic arthropods, particularly those of bats, remain poorly studied. Ectoparasites of the large-footed myotis (Myotis macropus) in eastern Australia were sampled from 10 roost sites across an urban gradient. In total, 265 bats were examined and 447 ectoparasites were collected, comprising three species of Hippoboscoidea: Basilia hamsmithi (Nycteribiidae), Penicillidia setosala (Nycteribiidae), Brachytarsina amboinensis (Streblidae), and an acarine, Spinturnix novaehollandiae (Mesostigmata, Spinturnicidae). Degree of urbanisation was found to have a significant effect on the abundance of the batfly B. hamsmithi but had no significant effect on the abundance of the wing mite S. novaehollandiae. We hypothesise that this is due to differences in the life history of these two species and the advantage components of these differences confer in exploiting variations in host roost habits. The prevalence of the batfly B. hamsmithi was high in urban sites but comparatively low in suburban and non-urban sites. Mass, sex, and body condition were found to have no significant impact on either the parasite load or the chance of infestation. Both P. setosala and B. amboinensis were recorded from M. macropus for the first time, though only in small numbers. They were associated with mixed-species roosts in a suburban site and are evidence of parasite spillover between sympatric bat species.
The federally threatened American burying beetle, Nicrophorus americanus previously occurred throughout much of eastern North America but now is self-sustaining only on an eastern island and along the western edge of the historic range. The beetle occurred on landscapes managed by Weyerhaeuser Company for timber production, providing an opportunity to evaluate possible effects of silvicultural practices on the species. For 1997–2007, fluctuating densities were low on these lands in southeastern Oklahoma and southwestern Arkansas. We recaptured 23.0% of individuals (all within same year), 27.4% of those at different sites (1.40 km mean distance moved; longest 4.25 km). Comparable surveys at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas (185 km north) and Camp Gruber, Oklahoma (209 km north-northwest) during 1998–2004 demonstrated for Weyerhaeuser-Chaffee near-perfect correspondence in beetle densities expressed as percentage change from previous year but no relationship for Weyerhaeuser-Gruber. The species regionally may be bivoltine with Weyerhaeuser and Chaffee sampled in the second generation and Gruber in the first. The close Weyerhaeuser-Chaffee association indicates numbers were influenced substantially by non-local factors, although given the data in hand we were unable to demonstrate association of climatic factors with beetle relative densities or density changes. No clear-cutting effect on beetle densities was demonstrated. Increases occurred 2 years after a partial cut compared to the prior year. Beetles used pole (13–29 years old) and mature (30–50) sites less often than expected and sapling (5–12) and delayed-harvest (> 50) sites more frequently. For delayed-harvest sites, beetles frequented hardwood (≥ 75% hardwood) less than pine (≥ 75%) or mixed hardwood-pine sites. There were differences relative to stand age and type, but large-scale regional factors probably influenced numbers more than silvicultural practices. Low numbers in southeastern Oklahoma, coupled with substantial year-to-year fluctuations, elevated extirpation risk. Extirpation in the study area likely occurred in 2006 or shortly thereafter, possibly influenced by increases in red imported fire ants, Solenopsis invicta. Implications for insect conservation Our study highlights that multiple factors influence numbers of the American burying beetle. Our findings suggest it would be fruitful for investigators to devote further attention to broader regional factors that affect year-to-year variation in such numbers. Silvicultural practices can affect beetle numbers in positive or negative ways, influences that fluctuate through the various stages involved in managing forested landscapes.
Feeding flexibility is believed to reduce species vulnerability to local extinction associated with environmental changes that cause food shortage, but to what extent such behavioural response is enough to cope with global change is scarcely known in insects. The harvester ant Pogonomyrmex mendozanus modifies its feeding behaviour and widens its diet in response to seed scarcity under grazing and reduces the colony food intake. We tested whether lower food intake, in particular of carbohydrate-rich grass seed, reduces worker survival rate, worsens the body condition of workers and reproductive individuals, and reduces the colony size of P. mendozanus. Our goal was to identify likely links between low quality nutrition and low colony density under heavy grazing previously reported. The reduction of food intake did not affect the body condition of workers, but it was associated with a significant decrease in the colony size and body fat content of queens and gynes. A starvation experiment showed that worker survival did not differ between grazing conditions, but seed deprivation increased worker mortality under all conditions. Implications for insect conservation The reduced colony size and deterioration of body condition of reproductive females could impair the survival and reproductive success of P. mendozanus under grazing. These mechanisms may explain the severe decline in colony density in the grazed habitats. In order to protect harvester ants, we highlight the importance of native grass seeds as key resources for population maintenance.
Polyphylla ragusae (Coleoptera Scarabaeidae) is an endemic beetle restricted to the island of Sicily (Italy). This species is among the most threatened invertebrates in Italy. Currently, scientific knowledge of the distribution and habitat selection of P. ragusae is scarce, though anecdotal observations suggest that the species is primarily found in intact dune systems associated with river mouths with rich riparian vegetation and reeds. We assembled data between 2012 - 2021on the species’ distribution and activity from direct collections and observations of beetles throughout the island. We also included additional distribution data from published literature. Our results showed that: (i) there was a significant skewed sex-ratio in specimens; (ii) there were differences in flying behaviour between the sexes, and (iii) habitat selection was non-random. We also analysed (i) the relationship between the occurrence of P. ragusae and CORINE landcover variables in Sicily and (ii) built a potential distribution map using MAXENT. We showed that the species occurrence was correlated with areas with more permanent freshwater waterbodies and less with those areas with more shrubs and croplands, indicating that P. ragusae could be a habitat specialist. These habitat features are common along coastal areas in Sicily, often linked to relatively unaltered dune environments. The degradation of these habitats is therefore likely to have caused the decline of the species in Sicily. We suggest that P. ragusae should be used as a flag species to attract attention for the protection of Sicilian dune systems.
Treatments for clutch division: a on land with 28 days delayed development at 5 °C, then ambient temperature; b in water and 28 days delayed development at 5 °C, then ambient temperature; c on land + ambient temperature (18–22 °C), d in water and ambient temperature (18–22 °C)
Hatching curves of Sympetrum striolatum and S. vulgatum in the different conditions. Dashed: Q50 (0.5) and Q90 (0.9); black: development direct (treatments c, d); grey: development delayed (treatments a, b). For convenience, the individual clutches are not marked separately
Mean growth rates in mm per day for Sympetrum striolatum and S. vulgatum at room temperature (18–22 °C) at different development conditions (direct vs. delayed)
The two sibling and syntopic odonate species Sympetrum striolatum and Sympetrum vulgatum are common and widespread in Central Europe. While S. striolatum has strong positive population trends, declines of S. vulgatum are observed. The aim of this study was to identify possible drivers of these diverging trends. We presumed that differences in egg development may lead to differences in survival until hatching. First, eggs laid in non-permanent or shrinking waterbodies may suffer of increasing drought periods. Second, differences in developement may cause increased size-mediated intraguild predation, a common cause of reduced survival in odonate larvae. Egg development time and hatching rates were recorded of eleven egg clutches of S. vulgatum and ten clutches of S. striolatum under simulated drought vs. water and direct vs. delayed development treatments. Hatching rates were reduced under drought conditions, and particularly so in S. vulgatum. We did not observe obligate winter diapause in any of the egg clutches. But, S. vulgatum varied widely in development between clutches, while the eggs of S. striolatum developed much faster and hatched highly synchronously. This would provide S. striolatum with a temporal advantage that may lead to a size-advantage over most S. vulgatum. We also found that S. vulgatum grew faster. Faster larval growth would only compensate for those S. vulgatum with fast egg development. The current population trends may be partly attributed to lowered survival of S. vulgatum under drought and by phenological and, thus, size benefits of S. striolatum. Implications for insect conservation Our results show that population dynamics of two closely related dragonfly species can be explained by climatically induced changes in their interactions. Understanding the causes and processes of behavioural changes resulting in differing population trends is fundamental for the protection of species.
Geographic occurrences of Bombus funebris in South America. The occurrences of this species in Bolivia, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia are represented by green circles. (Color figure online)
Current and future distribution in the 17 global atmosphere–ocean circulation scenarios (AOGCMs). a current distribution of the Bombus funebris species in the present scenario, occurrences of the species are represented by green circles; b ACCESS1-0; c BCC-CSM1-1; d CCSM4; e CNRMCM5; f GFDL-CM3; g GISS-E2-R; h HadGEM2-AO; i HadGEM2-CC; j HadGEM2ES; l INMCM4; m IPSL-CM5A-LR, n MIROC-ESM-CHEM; o MIROC-ESM; p MIROC5; q MPI-ESM-LR; r MRICGCM3; s NorESM1-M. (Color figure online)
Consensual distribution of Bombus funebris in scenario a current (red areas), b future (yellow areas), and c in determining stable areas (orange areas) from one scenario to another. Protected areas are indicated by black coloring. (Color figure online)
Details by country of the distribution of Bombus funebris is found. a SA—South America, b Colombia, c Ecuador, d Peru, e Venezuela, f Bolivia, g Chile. Current areas: red; future areas: yellow; stable areas: orange. (Color figure online)
Climate change (CC) is expected to negatively impact global biodiversity and ecosystems, resulting in profound ecological impacts and placing complex networks of biological interactions at risk. Despite this worrying scenario, the existing knowledge deficiencies may be overcome with species distribution models (SDMs), providing estimates of the effects of CC upon biodiversity. We evaluate the impact of CC on the distribution of the bumble bee species Bombus (Funebribombus) funebris Smith, 1854 (Apidae: Bombini) in South America. The Andean region will remain suitable for B. funebris under models of future CC. Nonetheless, the distribution range size will decrease, especially in protected areas. We believe this is due to the elevation zones preferentially occupied by the bees. The existence and prevalence of the species may be affected by anthropic actions and CC. The growing use of SDMs is critical to minimizing information deficits related to insect species and providing estimates of their distribution ranges. Implications for insect conservation: Implications for insect conservation Our results show a retraction in the future distribution range of this bumble bee, dispersing to higher elevations. Therefore, it has the potential for the loss of plant–insect interactions by affecting its crucial role in Andean pollination.
Nests of three species of Sceliphron. A, B—S. caementarium, C, D, E—S. curvatum, F, G—S. destillatorium
Types of buildings and matters, where nests of S. caementarium (black bars), S. curvatum (grey bars) and S. destillatorium (white bars) were placed
Proportions (in %) of nests of three species of Sceliphron: A—created inside (black bars) and outside (white bars) the buildings, B—hidden (black bars) and unhidden (white bars) nests. Grey columns represent nests without details on the placing
Placing of S. curvatum nests (numbers of nests studied)
A—Height above the ground and B—Distance from the outer margin of the settlement of nests of three Sceliphron species. Nests with minus are placed outside, those with plus inside the settlement
Sceliphron caementarium and Sceliphron curvatum are non-native species in Europe with former distributions in North America and Asia, respectively. Both species create nests of mud that are usually located inside, on the surface of, or near buildings. Though both species have been studied many times, knowledge on their nesting biology is based on a few studies with small numbers of non-analysed observational data. By collecting information on 123 S. caementarium nests, 341 S. curvatum nests, and 75 nests of the most widespread native species, Sceliphron destillatorium, the nesting place preferences of the wasps were evaluated. The three species do not differ in their nest placements within settlements, in the sizes of the settlements where they nest, or in their nesting locations, and they differ only slightly in the heights of their nests above the ground. The main difference is that S. curvatum nests are usually hidden inside buildings, while the other two species mostly create nests on the surfaces of buildings. Thus, S. curvatum could negatively affect its native relatives due to its high population density and competition for prey, but not due to the competition for nesting sites. Neither non-native species represents any threat to crops or landscapes; the species have only limited negative effects, such as building nests in or on peoples’ houses, carrying mud and spiders to these locations, and annoying people with their loud buzzing during nest building and provisioning. They are both regarded to represent minor threat according to SEICAT classification. Implications for insect conservation Both two non-native species are only very little harmful for the native species and probably also for other species of bees and wasps with similar nesting biology. Their harmfulness is much lower than that of other well known invasive insects (Harmonia axyridis and Vespa velutina for example).
Fresh weights (y-axis) of different carabid species from both datasets (training and validation) plotted against the respective size (body length)(x-axis) on the original scale (a) and log-transformed (b); added lines display predicted weights calculated with the models of Booij et al. (1994) (dashed) and Szyszko (1983) (solid) on both scales
Size histograms and fresh weights plotted against size for the dataset of Booij et al. (1994) (a, b) and the dataset of Schultz (1996) (c, d)
Deviation graphs of all six models showing the relative deviation as percentage of observed weight on the y-axis against size (body length) on the x-axis. The line (y = 0) represents the observed weights for reference
Observed weights plotted against predicted weights for all six models on the log-scale (left) and the original scale (right), showing the reference line 1:1 (dashed) and the individual regression line (solid). Take note of the different scales on the x-axis. Significance codes for intercept and slope are: *** (< 0.001), ** (< 0.01), * (< 0.05)
Biomass is an important metric for monitoring carabid populations and serves as an ecological indicator. Models that predict carabid weight based on body size represent a simple and straightforward method to estimate biomass and are therefore commonly used. However, such models are rarely evaluated against independent validation data. In this study, we evaluated the two widely used size-weight models by Szyszko (1983) and Booij et al. (1994) drawing on previously published independent data. Additionally, we developed and tested four new models to also evaluate the potential effect of taxonomic parameters; and compared model predictions with actual measurements of biomass using relative deviation graphs and observed versus predicted from regression. We show that the two models by Szyszko (1983) and Booij et al. (1994) contain systematic bias towards larger and smaller carabids, respectively, suggesting restricted applicability of such models. Additional taxonomic parameters improved weight predictions, indicating one possible solution to the issue of restricted applicability. We discuss further relevant limitations of size-weight models and their application and recommend a combined use of the models of Szyszko (1983) and Booij et al. (1994) for carabids ≥ 11.8 mm and < 11.8 mm, respectively. Implications for insect conservation : Size-weight models are a suitable and simple method to estimate the biomass of carabids and have great potential to be used in monitoring schemes, the investigation of long-term trends and ecological studies. It is, however, essential that researchers pay special attention to potential restrictions in their applicability and methodological limitations.
Location of Flanders (northern Belgium; grey) in Europe. The Brussels Capital Region is visible as a white dot within Flanders. The data from the Brussels Capital Region were indluced in this Red List
Number of condensed records per year
UTM 5 × 5 km² grid cells that were sampled in the periods 1980–2010 (top left) and 2011–2020 (top right) in Flanders (from white to black: 1–3, 4–6, 7–9, 10–12, ≥ 13 species) and the grid cells that were sampled in both periods (bottom). The ecological regions in Flanders are used as background
Proportion of species in the different Red List categories for some terrestrial invertebrate taxa in Flanders. Number of assessed species within each taxa is found between brackets. Red List categories (RLC): RE regionally extinct, CR critically endagered, EN endangered, VU vulnerable, NT near threatened, LC least concern. Data of invertebrates other than isopods from Maes et al. (2019), Maes et al. (2021), Van de Meutter et al. (2021) and De Knijf et al. (2021)
Although diversity and abundance of arthropods have been shown to decline globally, they are underrepresented in nature conservation efforts and policies. Belowground taxa are especially neglected, despite their key roles in ecosystem functioning. Terrestrial isopods are litter and soil dwelling and important contributors to litter decomposition and nutrient cycling among others. Yet their conservation status has hardly been assessed. We compared recent extensive citizen science data with historical records to assess a Red List status of the terrestrial isopods in Flanders (northern Belgium) according to the IUCN international standards. We calculated distribution trends (IUCN criterion A) and distribution ranges (IUCN criterion B) for all native species. In total, 34 species of terrestrial isopods occur in Flanders of which one is regionally extinct and ten are threatened. Threatened species are associated with old deciduous forests, coastal habitats, rivers and streams and ancient anthropogenic habitats. Implications for conservation Terrestrial isopods are important decomposers. Assessment of their regional Red List status can set conservation priorities for this rarely assessed trophic level, and facilitate developing local nature conservation and management policies that are complementary to other species groups. Additionally, they share their habitats with a number of threatened species characteristic of old farms and small-scale farming systems. Therefore, this list will be of importance for the assessment of the conservation value of cultural heritage and old farming practices and their associated biodiversity, which is rarely considered.
Invertebrates presented in the questionnaire. (1) Western honeybee Apis mellifera, (2) Cabbage butterfly larvae Plutella xylostella, (3) Slater Armadillidium vulgare,(4) Hoverfly Myathropa florea, (5) Cabbage butterfly adult Plutella xylostella, (6) Pumpkin beetle, Aulacophora nigripennis, (7) Giant hornet Vespa mandarinia, (8) Small bumble bee Bombus ardens, (9) Carpenter Bee Xylocopa appendiculata, (10) Slug Arion rufus, (11) Seven-spotted ladybeetle Coccinella magnifica, (12) Indian Fritillary Argyreus hyperbius, (13) Earthworm Lumbricus terrestris, (14) Yellowjacket wasp Vespula sp., (15) Aphids Family: Aphidoidea, (16) Brown marmorated stink bug Halyomorpha halys
Standardised and mean-centred parameter estimates from negative-binomial generalised linear models describing respondents’ a Biophilia (like), b Biophobia [disgust, dislike, fear], c Perception of invertebrates as beneficial and as pests. Each model specified the same set of six main effects, comprising three experiential [frequency of gardening, time in local parks (nearby nature), and national/state parks (wild nature)] and four demographic (identification knowledge of common invertebrates, level of education, age, and gender) measures. All response variables and predictors, save for gender, are ordinal measures (0–16), as estimated via an online survey with 443 complete responses. Note that the presented estimates represent weighted model averages following information-theoretic model selection (see “Methods” for full details). Points and lines denote ± 95% CI’s, respectively, with estimates considered significant when intervals do not encompass 0.
As growing urban populations have fewer chances to experience nature, i.e., ‘the extinction of experience’, the subsequent loss of emotional affinities for biodiversity (biophilia) pose major challenges to environmental conservation. Gardening, as an everyday nature interaction and window into invertebrate ecological functioning may offer opportunities to develop biophilia. However, the associations between gardening and biophilia/biophobia towards invertebrates remains untested. We conducted an online survey (n = 443) with adults in Japan about their nature and gardening experiences, demographics, and species identification knowledge in relation to their biophilia (like) and biophobia (dislike, fear, and disgust) towards invertebrates. We also asked participants about their perceptions of invertebrates as ‘beneficials’ or ‘pests’. From responses, we ranked invertebrates according to the attitudes held towards them. We found that frequent gardeners were more likely to express biophilia and perceive invertebrates as beneficial, and generally less likely to express biophobia towards invertebrates. Frequency of visits to recreational parks, but not national/state parks was associated with increased biophilia and reduced dislike and fear of invertebrates. Our results suggest that gardening, in addition to localised nature experiences, acts as a possible pathway towards appreciation of invertebrate biodiversity. We recommend that policymakers and conservation organisations view urban gardening as a potential tool to minimise the negative impacts of the extinction of experience. Implications for insect conservation As people are more likely to conserve what they love, finding ways to nurture positive attitudes towards insects is critical for the public support needed for successful insect conservation. Considering gardening is a relatively accessible form of nature connection even in cities, our findings of the association between gardening and biophilia towards invertebrates holds promise for potential pathways towards fostering support for insect conservation now and into the future.
Subtropical and tropical rainforest in mainland eastern Australia (blue areas), grey areas represent other forest types. Arrows indicate the studies discussed in this article. KEY: C—canopy knockdown studies; H—one-hectare plot studies; E—Elevational transects: F—Atherton fragmentation study. Base-map is modified from the website of Forests Australia and used with their permission. (
Butterfly and hawkmoth richness in Australian tropical and subtropical rainforests. a Papilionidae, b Hesperiidae, c Pieridae, d Nymphalidae, e Lycaenidae, f Sphingidae. a–e were collated from distribution maps in Orr and Kitching (2010), f from the maps in Moulds et al. (2020)
An ecological templet summarising hypotheses about the generation and maintenance of arthropod diversity (from Kitching et al. 1997)
The tropical and subtropical rainforests of eastern Australia are a major component of the Forests of East Australia global hotspot. Australian rainforests are maintained orographically and are embedded within vast tracts of pyrogenic open forest and woodland. Australian tropical and subtropical forests stretch over 24° of latitude from Cape York, Queensland, to south of Sydney, New South Wales. Since European colonization in 1788 these rainforests have been reduced in extent by about 30%. The most abundant and functionally significant animal species within these forests are arthropods. These have attracted the attention of western science since before formal colonization. Through the twentieth century this focus increased and comparative biogeographic studies began to emerge. Some taxa have received much more attention than others. Selected butterflies and beetles plus economically important species stand out in this respect. From the late 1980s mass sampling approaches developed. Recent research foci have included tropical and subtropical elevational transects, latitudinally diverse multi-method one-hectare surveys, and use of canopy knockdown as a way of sampling the canopy. Important and distinct patterns reflecting latitude, altitude and vertical position have emerged. A focus on moths in remnant and elevational studies has led to the identification of indicator sets of species which may be most useful for tracking the impacts of environmental degradation and global warming. Arthropods are increasingly being nominated on lists of rare, threatened and endangered species; a range of species of insects, particularly butterflies, have been so identified in Australia but few of these are rainforest species. The vulnerable Richmond Birdwing butterfly, a species of subtropical rainforests, has become an icon of how recovery methods can be applied to invertebrate species. Regarding the entire rainforest community—microbiota, plants, vertebrates and invertebrates—as the ‘object’ to be conserved is an essential and much more realistic mindset for future conservation efforts. Most of Australia’s tropical and subtropical rainforests are held in National Parks and they are defining features of two of Australia’s largest World Heritage Areas. Growing impacts of global warming means they cannot be regarded as ‘safe’ from a conservation point of view. Increasing frequency of wildfires impinging upon rainforest areas is having a devastating effect on some of these fire-sensitive forests. Implications for insect conservation Most of Australia’s tropical and subtropical rainforests are held in National Parks and they are defining features of two of Australia’s largest World Heritage Areas. Nevertheless the growing impacts of global warming means they cannot be regarded as ‘safe’ from a conservation point of view. Increasing frequency of wildfires impinging upon rainforest areas is having a devastating effect on these fire-sensitive forests. Regarding the entire rainforest community—microbiota, plants, vertebrates and invertebrates—as the ‘object’ to be conserved is an essential and much more realistic mindset for future conservation efforts.
Map of the study area showing sampling locations for 2019 and 2020
Species ordination and envfit vectoring for 2019 and 2020 bee species, comparing communities by primary land cover type (agriculture, development and forest. Points represent the bee community at each sample location. Ellipses represent the standard deviation around the centroid of each cover community cluster. Vectors (FS_12_AllAg = Agriculture (Large Scale), FS_2 (or 5)_AllAg = Agriculture (Small Scale)) represent land covers significantly (P ≤ 0.05) influencing differentiation in communities with direction indicating the direction of positive association and length proportional to the strength of the effect. Communities differed significantly by cover types
As urbanization continues throughout much of the world, there is great interest in better understanding the value of urban and residential environments to pollinators. We explored how landscape context affects the abundance and diversity of bees on 50 residential properties in northern Georgia, USA, primarily in and around Athens, GA. Over 2 years of pan trap sampling we collected 4938 bees representing 111 species, from 28 genera in five families, constituting 20% of the species reported for the state. Development correlated positively with bee diversity at small (< 2.5 square km) scales, and positively with six of eight individual bee species’ abundances. Agriculture often correlated positively with bee diversity at larger spatial scales (> 2.5 square km), and negatively at smaller spatial scales. Forest cover correlated negatively with bee diversity at small spatial scales, but positively at larger scales. This trend was also largely true for individual bee species abundances. Bee communities differed between sites by predominant land cover types (agriculture, forest and development). Simper and indicator species analysis revealed which species contributed heavily to the observed patterns and helped to determine group distinctions. Implications for insect conservation Our results show that residential landscapes can support high bee diversity and that this diversity is sensitive to landscape context at different scales. Although development appears to have a negative effect on bee diversity overall, some bee species are favored by the open conditions characteristic of developed areas. Moreover, forest remnants appear to be valuable habitats for many species and are thus important to regional bee diversity. Urban planning that prioritizes and incorporates forest remnant conservation will promote bee abundance and diversity.
Studied area and situation of the 1 ha plots in the central region of Veracruz State, Mexico
Examples of trap arrangements in 1 ha plots in the central region of Veracruz State, Mexico
Groups (G) of cattle pastures (P) in the central region of Veracruz State, Mexico. All groups were constructed based on the Euclidean distance (cut line at 3.2)
Diversity profiles (and 95% confidence intervals) based on the number of species (A), the number of equally common species when all species have a weight proportional to their abundance (B), and when dominant species have more weight (C) for control sites (CS) and groups (G) of cattle pastures in the central region of Veracruz State, Mexico. (✚ = CS, ★ = Group 1, ▲ = Group 2,  = Group 3,  = Group 4, ▼ = Group 5,  = Group 6)
Redundancy analysis (RDA) based on species richness and the different biodiversity-friendly practices in the central region of Veracruz State, Mexico (Pasture groups: ★ = G1, ▲  =  G2,  =  G3,  =  G4, ▼  =  G5,  =  G6)
Tropical montane cloud forest (TMCF) has been reduced to riparian vegetation remnants, and small patches surrounded by different land uses and human settlements. In agricultural and highly disturbed TMCF landscapes, the conservation of species diversity depends partially on management decisions made by landowners. This study compared the influence of 15 different ranching management practices (biodiversity-friendly or unfriendly) on the species and functional diversity of dung beetles associated with TMCF in a Mexican mountainous tropical landscape. Cattle pastures were divided into six groups (G) based on management practices friendly or unfriendly to dung beetle diversity. The most common biodiversity-friendly practices were livestock intensification (animal rotation and stocking) for grass recovery, (ii) organic fertilizer use, and (iii) the presence of shade trees. In contrast, agrochemical use, percentage of grass surface coverage, use of external food supplements, and the amount of disturbance were considered to be unfriendly biodiversity practices. G1 was a technified ranch experiencing frequent use of agrochemicals, had disturbed conditions with more than 40% of grass surface coverage, and used more practices unfriendly to biodiversity. In contrast, G4 had more than 50% biodiversity-friendly practices and pasture group G6 was characterized by low animal loading, total grass surface coverage and technification. In these pastures, ranchers did not use herbicides and used local resources as food supplements. A total of 2218 beetles belonging to 19 species were captured. G2 pastures had higher species diversity, while G1 pastures had the lowest. G6 pastures had the highest diversity of large, medium and coprophagous beetles, whereas G1 pastures showed the lowest. Agrochemical applications and pasture disturbance were the key results from management decisions influencing dung beetle diversity. Implications for insect conservation Animal rotations, tree presence in grazing areas, and organic fertilizer applications were the most influential management decisions for improving conservation of dung beetles in the Mexican TMCF landscape studied. These practices should be favored by management strategies. Cattle pastures with higher frequencies of agrochemical applications and degree of disturbance showed the lowest dung beetles species diversity, and diversity of large and coprophagous species, likely implying greater negative effects on ecosystem functions and services. As such, these practices should be diminished.
Map of the Serra Grande landscape (a) in the Atlantic Forest of northeastern Brazil. Study site showing 50 sampling sites (b). The forest sites embedded within sugarcane plantations are represented by black circles, including a large area of continuous old-growth forest (Coimbra forest) (c). Light-shaded grey represents the remaining Atlantic Forest remnants that were not surveyed. Aerial photography of the study landscape by Adriano Gambarini
NMDS based on dung beetle assemblages in five habitat types of the Atlantic Forest of northeastern Brazil: forest interior (FI) (brown circles), forest edges (FE) (orange circles), small forest fragments (SF) (black circles), and sugarcane plantations surrounded by either the continuous old-growth forest (SC-PF) (grey circles) or small forest fragments (SC-SF) (yellow circles). (Color figure online)
Functional composition (community weighted trait mean – CWM) of dung beetle assemblages in five habitat types of the Atlantic Forest of northeastern Brazil: forest interior (FI), forest edges (FE), small forest fragments (SF), and sugarcane plantations surrounded by the continuous old-growth forest (SC-PF) or small forest fragments (SC-SF). Boxplots indicate the median (thick lines), the first and third quartiles (boxes) and ranges (whiskers). Different letters indicate significant differences among habitat types (post-hoc contrasts, p < 0.05)
Functional richness (a), functional evenness (b), functional dispersion (c) and functional redundancy (d) of dung beetle assemblages in five habitat types of the Atlantic Forest of northeastern Brazil: forest interior (FI), forest edges (FE), small forest fragments (SF), and sugarcane plantations surrounded by the continuous old-growth forest (SC-PF) or small forest fragments (SC-SF). Boxplots indicate the median (thick lines), the first and third quartiles (boxes) and ranges (whiskers). Different letters indicate significant differences among habitat types (post-hoc contrasts, p < 0.05)
Responses of functional richness (FRic), evenness (FEve), dispersion (FDis) and redundancy (FR) of dung beetle assemblages to patch size (Area), landscape composition (forest cover—FC) and configuration (splitting index—SI and edge density—ED). Shaded areas indicate 95% confidence intervals
Tropical forests worldwide have succumbed to rapid conversion into agricultural landscapes, but the local- and landscape-scale drivers of functional diversity and consequently ecosystem functioning remain poorly known, which limits management and conservation strategies. Here, we quantitatively assess how biofuel croplands affect taxonomic and functional diversity as well as trait-composition of dung beetle assemblages in a hyper-fragmented landscape of the Brazilian Atlantic forest dominated by sugarcane plantations. We also examine to what extent changes in patch attributes (patch scale forest loss), landscape composition (landscape scale forest loss) and landscape configuration (degree of fragmentation and forest edge density), induced by the establishment of sugarcane plantations, affect the functional reorganization of dung beetle assemblages. We estimated taxonomic and functional diversity (functional richness, evenness and redundancy) of dung beetle assemblages at 50 sampling sites across a sugarcane dominated hyper-fragmented landscape. In general, sugarcane plantations showed lower functional diversity than forest sites. Large-bodied coprophagous tunnelers were dominant across all forest sites, while small-bodied generalist-rollers were more abundant in sugarcane plantations. Functional evenness and dispersion were negatively affected by landscape composition, while landscape configuration and forest loss played a minor role. Our findings indicate that changes at both the patch and landscape scales induced by the establishment of sugarcane plantations exert strong impacts on the taxonomic and functional diversity of dung beetles. Implications for insect conservation These shifts in functional diversity can disrupt ecological functions served by these insects which, in turn, can accelerate the collapse of ecosystem functioning across tropical landscapes immersed in sugarcane plantations.
The use of hotspots in biodiversity conservation is controversial and complex. We review the extensive information available for tiger beetle species at global, regional, and local scales to point out problems and apply solutions. As model organisms, tiger beetles indicate that simultaneous mutli-scale approaches and increased reliance on citizen scientists are areas most likely to prove useful for successful conservation programs such as hotspots. Implications for insect conservation Our review uses tiger beetles as a model for choosing hotspots. The depth and breadth of knowledge of a taxon needed to use it in conservation are profound, and the future of hotspots in biodiversity conservation depends on this level of knowledge for a few well-studied taxa.
Top-cited authors
Piotr Nowicki
  • Jagiellonian University
Chiari S.
  • ​CREA Consiglio per la ricerca in agricoltura e l'analisi dell'economia agraria, Florence, Italy
Giuseppe Maria Carpaneto
  • Università Degli Studi Roma Tre
Jason P. Harmon
  • North Dakota State University
Leandro Juen
  • Universidade Federal do Pará, Belém, Brazil