Fluctuating insect diversity, abundance and biomass across agricultural landscapes

Sci Rep. 2022 Oct 21;12(1):17706. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-20989-9.


Habitat destruction and deterioration of habitat quality caused a severe decline of biodiversity, such as insect diversity. In this study, we analyze insect diversity and biomass across agro-environments. We collected flying insects with 20 malaise traps across a landscape mosaic consisting of organic (eight traps) and conventional (four traps) farmland, as well as across agricultural land that has been recently converted from conventional to organic farming (eight traps). Sampling was conducted over 2 years, in 2019 and 2020, with in total 340 sampling events. We measured the dry weight of the captured organisms and identified species diversity by analyzing Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) and Barcode Index Numbers (BINs) via metabarcoding. The results obtained show temporal dynamics. The number of OTUs were always higher than the number of BINs. OTUs and BINs were moderately to highly correlated, while the number of OTUs and BINs were only moderately positively correlated with dry biomass. OTUs and BINs as well as biomass were highest in the recently transformed farmland if compared with pure organic and conventional farmland sites, which showed no significant differences in respect of insect diversity. OTU and BIN numbers but not the OTU/BIN ratio significantly decreased with increasing distance from the nearest forest fringe. The numbers of OTUs, BINs and the OTU/BIN proportion, as well as OTU and BIN/biomass proportions varied strongly over seasons, irrespective of agricultural practice. Based on our findings, we suggest to combine data on insect species richness and biomass measured over a period of time, to derive a largely complete and meaningful assessment of biodiversity for a specific region.

PMID:36271271 | DOI:10.1038/s41598-022-20989-9


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