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Conserving Beneficial Arthropods In Urban Landscapes

Overview

Urbanization is one of the major drivers of land cover change worldwide, yet little is known about the effects urbanization has on beneficial arthropod communities. The research in this thesis examines how broad and local scale landscape variables associated with urbanization influence beneficial arthropod assemblages. Our first study evaluated arthropod responses to changes in landscape structure across an urban to rural landscape gradient. At broad scales, between 100 m and 1000 m, the impact land cover change ...
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Overview

Urbanization is one of the major drivers of land cover change worldwide, yet little is known about the effects urbanization has on beneficial arthropod communities. The research in this thesis examines how broad and local scale landscape variables associated with urbanization influence beneficial arthropod assemblages. Our first study evaluated arthropod responses to changes in landscape structure across an urban to rural landscape gradient. At broad scales, between 100 m and 1000 m, the impact land cover change had on beneficial arthropod abundance and diversity was evaluated by measuring land cover percentages for five classes: impervious surface, forest, grassland, open space, and agriculture. At a local, within-site, scale, I examined the impact flower diversity, flower area, hardscape, and tree density had on arthropod abundance and diversity. Beneficial arthropod diversity was found to decrease as the percentage of impervious surface increased in the surrounding landscape, while arthropod abundance was positively affected by increasing levels of flower diversity at a local scale. However, this positive relationship between arthropod abundance and flower diversity only occurred in broad scale landscapes containing high levels of urban development. To further examine the effects of flower diversity on arthropods, a second manipulative experiment was conducted where arthropods were sampled in replicated study plots containing flowers planted in 1, 2, or 7 species mixes. In this study, flower diversity was positively impacted arthropod diversity, but not arthropod abundance. Finally, natural pest suppression of aphids was measured in both field experiments: across our urban to rural landscape gradient and across different levels of flower diversity. Differences in natural pest suppression were found across our urban to rural landscape gradient with natural pest suppression being positively correlated with natural enemy diversity. However, in the manipulative study, no differences in natural pest suppression were found between different levels of flower diversity. These results suggest the more appropriate scale for measuring natural pest suppression is at broad spatial scales where variation in natural enemy communities becomes more apparent. Overall, this research demonstrates that broad and local scale landscape variables can influence arthropod community composition and natural pest suppression of herbivorous pests.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781243726063
  • Publisher: BiblioLabsII
  • Publication date: 9/8/2011
  • Pages: 154
  • Product dimensions: 7.44 (w) x 9.69 (h) x 0.33 (d)

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