Emily Trendos MES Defence
Friday September 15th at 2:00pm in EV2-2021
Across North America insects have been neglected by ecosystem managers due to economical limitations, time needed for sampling, negative perception of insects, and required taxonomic knowledge. However, this type of research needs to be incorporated into management plans in order to effectively facilitate sustainable ecosystems. Invasive species like the emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire) and the resulting management practices put into place by managers have effects on resident insect species that can remain unknown if insect monitoring initiatives are not put into place. My study catalogues saproxylic beetles within three parks in Kitchener, Ontario for the first time to create a baseline inventory for future research. Ash trees were removed in the winter of 2013 around Tilt’s Bush, in the winter of 2015 around Laurentian Wetland, and still remained around Breithaupt Park. I also compared beetle abundance and diversity between sites to determine if leaving ash trees standing has a significant impact on populations. However, the only significant difference found was a higher beetle family diversity in Tilt’s Bush than both Breithaupt Park and Laurentian Wetland, which was unexpected and likely not related to ash tree removal. Based on correlation analysis, cerambycidae and curculionidae (scolytinae) were identified as possible indicators of overall saproxylic beetle abundance. Creating a method of sharing insect sampling information between the public, managers, and researchers needs to become a reality if successful ecosystem management is expected to be achieved not only in Kitchener, but across the country.