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Data from: Towards a standardized quantitative and qualitative insect monitoring scheme

Citation

Moriniere, Jerome et al. (2020), Data from: Towards a standardized quantitative and qualitative insect monitoring scheme, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.mpg4f4qvw

Abstract

The number of insect species and insect abundances decreased severely during the past decades over major parts of Central Europe. Previous studies documented declines of species richness, abundances, shifts in species composition, and decreasing biomass of flying insects. In this study we present a standardized approach to quantitatively and qualitatively assess insect diversity, biomass and the abundance of taxa, in parallel. We applied two methods: Malaise traps, and automated and active light trapping. Sampling was conducted from April till October 2018 in southern Germany, at four sites representing conventional and organic farming. Bulk samples obtained from Malaise traps were further analyzed using DNA metabarcoding. Larger moths (Macroheterocera) collected with light trapping was further classified according their degree of endangerment. Our methods provide valuable quantitative and qualitative data. Our results indicate more biomass and higher species richness, as well as twice the number of Red List lepidopterans in organic farmland than in conventional farmland. This combination of sampling methods with subsequent DNA metabarcoding and assignments of individuals according depending on ecological characteristics and the degree of endangerment allows to evaluate the status of landscapes, and represents a suitable set-up for large-scale long-term insect monitoring across Central Europe, and elsewhere.