An image of Irish grasslands

Journal Club Article for June 25, 2021

This Fri­day, June 25, 2021, from 12–1 PM (EST/EDT), we will dis­cuss the linked arti­cle at our next week­ly Jour­nal Club meet­ing. The arti­cle is titled “The poten­tial of par­a­sitoid Hymenoptera as bioindi­ca­tors of arthro­pod diver­si­ty in agri­cul­tur­al grass­lands” and will be pre­sent­ed by STEM Research Intern Wes Walsh.

Abstract: 1. As mea­sur­ing bio­di­ver­si­ty in its entire­ty is imprac­ti­cal, there is a need for bioindi­ca­tors. This study test­ed the hypoth­e­sis that par­a­sitoid Hymenoptera are poten­tial bioindi­ca­tors that pro­vide a use­ful means to assess the wider bio­di­ver­si­ty of arthro­pod pop­u­la­tions in agro-ecosys­tems. There are a range of the­o­ret­i­cal argu­ments to sup­port such a claim, includ­ing the high troph­ic posi­tion of these taxa with­in the arthro­pod com­mu­ni­ties in which they occur, and the unique nature of their bio­log­i­cal rela­tion­ships with the major­i­ty of ter­res­tri­al arthro­pod groups. 2. A sur­vey of 48 com­mer­cial farms was con­duct­ed and Gen­er­al­ized Lin­ear Mod­els used to inves­ti­gate rela­tion­ships between six taxa—parasitoid Hymenoptera, Coleoptera, Hemiptera, Diptera, Araneae and plants (species rich­ness and sward height)—in agri­cul­tur­al grass­lands. As well as rela­tion­ships between these groups, the rela­tion­ship of each indi­vid­ual group to the over­all bio­di­ver­si­ty of all oth­er arthro­pod groups was explored. 3. Both abun­dance (r2 =0 Æ58) and tax­on rich­ness (r2 =0 Æ54) of par­a­sitoid Hymenoptera had stronger rela­tion­ships with over­all arthro­pod tax­on rich­ness than any oth­er arthro­pod group inves­ti­gat­ed. Par­a­sitoid abun­dance also had a pos­i­tive rela­tion­ship with species rich­ness of Coleoptera (r2 =0 Æ23) and Hemiptera(r2 =0 Æ47). 4. An his­tor­i­cal data set demon­strat­ed how the rela­tion­ship between par­a­sitoid abun­dance and over­all arthro­pod tax­on rich­ness changes over the grow­ing sea­son. July, when the rela­tion­ship was strongest, is poten­tial­ly the most use­ful time to sam­ple. 5. For use in rou­tine mon­i­tor­ing, it is impor­tant that an effort be made to under­stand the sea­son­al influence on the rela­tion­ship in the con­text being stud­ied. Equal sam­pling effort must be made for all sites being com­pared and sites should be sam­pled as close togeth­er in the sea­son as is pos­si­ble. 6. Syn­the­sis and appli­ca­tions. We show that, with­in agri­cul­tur­al grass­lands, both the abun­dance and tax­on rich­ness of par­a­sitoid Hymenoptera are more close­ly relat­ed with over­all arthro­pod diver­si­ty than any oth­er arthro­pod group inves­ti­gat­ed. The use of par­a­sitoid abun­dance pro­vides a sim­ple and prac­ti­ca­ble mon­i­tor­ing tool for track­ing change in wider arthro­pod diver­si­ty in agroecosystems.

Meet­ing ID: 549 554 5262

Mas­sas­oit STEM events are open to ALL Mas­sas­oit stu­dents, fac­ul­ty, and staff.

Mas­sas­oit Com­mu­ni­ty Col­lege encour­ages per­sons with dis­abil­i­ties to par­tic­i­pate in its pro­grams and activ­i­ties. If you antic­i­pate need­ing any type of accom­mo­da­tion or have ques­tions relat­ed to access for this event, please con­tact the Divi­sion of Sci­ence and Math­e­mat­ics at in advance of your par­tic­i­pa­tion or vis­it.

Pho­to by Jason Mur­phy on Unsplash

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