Long-term monitoring of insects in agricultural landscapes
There is widespread concern about recent biodiversity and invertebrate biomass losses and the general public pays increased attention to the consequences in agricultural landscapes and finally the functioning of ecosystems. There are very few standardised, long-term datasets on insect populations available to investigate the underlying mechanisms more closely. In this study, we used a 12.2 m high suction trap comparable to those used by the Rothamstedt insect survey to monitor aphids, other invertebrate herbivores and antagonists in an agriculture-dominated landscape (mid Germany) since 1985. The research project uses samples and data that were collected over a period of 35 years to compile indices of total aerial invertebrate biomass or species data across recent decades and then investigates temporal trends to analyse the complex interrelationships between environmental or climate change and shifts in species assemblages of a range of insect taxa. Here, we present first results of this exceptional large dataset.