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You are here: Home / What we do / Science / Key messages from the 'ECN at 20' Special Issue of Ecological Indicators, 2016 / Eyre, MD., McMillan, SD. and Critchley, CNR. Ground beetles (Coleoptera, Carabidae) as indicators of change and pattern in the agroecosystem: Longer surveys improve understanding

Eyre, MD., McMillan, SD. and Critchley, CNR. Ground beetles (Coleoptera, Carabidae) as indicators of change and pattern in the agroecosystem: Longer surveys improve understanding

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Long-term data from two farmland sites, one an ECN site, were used to investigate land use effects on carabid beetle communities ... some carabid species play important roles in agricultural systems by predating crop pests or feeding on the seeds of weeds 
Calathus melanocephalus (photo: Roy Anderson)
  1. Some carabid (ground beetle) species play important roles in agricultural systems by predating crop pests or feeding on the seeds of weeds. Such forms of natural biocontrol are important when considering future strategies for food production. There is considerable interest, for example, in reducing dependence on pesticides by boosting predatory insect abundance using non-crop field margins.
  2. Long-term data from two farmland sites, one an ECN site, were used to investigate land use effects on carabid beetle communities.
  3. Carabid activity in non-crop habitats, often used as ‘beetle banks’ in bio-control management of crop pests, was found to be sub-optimal at the sites.
  4. Furthermore, the species composition of these environments was influenced by surrounding management activity.
  5. Some additional management is, therefore, likely to be required to maximise the potential of these farmland features to contribute to pest control.

 

Reference: Eyre, MD., McMillan, SD. and Critchley, CNR. (2016). Ground beetles (Coleoptera, Carabidae) as indicators of change and pattern in the agroecosystem: Longer surveys improve understanding. Ecological Indicators68, 82-88. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2015.11.009.

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