Invertebrate Diversity In Old-Field Sites In Southwest Michigan: Assessment of Indicator Taxa and Examination of Ecological Correlates of Diversity
Waller, Joseph T.
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Quantifying and cataloguing invertebrate diversity is important for understanding the ecosystems that exist around us. It is also of pressing importance to examine the relationship of invasive species on the ecosystems in which they exist. In this study invertebrate diversity was examined in old-field sites in southwest Michigan using pitfall trapping. of 220 different morphospecies identified, the most common included springtails and sowbugs, while the most widespread included springtails and Aphaenogaster ants. The effectiveness of using ants, spiders, and beetles as indicator taxa for greater insect and invertebrate diversity was examined at old-field sites in southwest Michigan. Beetles were found to be superior as indicators due to their high correlation to greater insect and invertebrate diversity as well as their ease in collection and identification. Neither plant richness nor plant height was found to be significantly correlated to invertebrate richness. The density of infestation of the invasive forb 'Centaurea maculosa', commonly known as spotted knapweed, was compared to plant height, plant species richness, and invertebrate species. No significant relationship was found between density of Centaurea maculosa infestation and invertebrate or plant species richness.
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