Insect abundance and environmental effects in Shennongjia Natural Reserve, Hubei Province
ZHOU Hong-Zhang, YU Xiao-Dong, LUO Tian-HOng, HE Jun-Jian, ZHOU Hai-Sheng, YE Chan-Juan
Biodiv Sci. 2000, 08 (3):
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Insects are the most species- rich group of all organisms. Studying insect species diversity is a fundamental part of natural conservation , and its main purpose is to reduce the increasing loss of biodiversity on this
globe. Nevertheless , there have been very few studies involving insect species conservation in China. Shennongjia Natural Reserve , which owns plenty of insects species and other organisms , is one of the most important areas for terrestrial biodiversity of China. Although Shennongjia Natural Reserve has been well protected ,
few work has been fulfilled on insect species diversity. In this study , we focused on investigating insect species
and their abundance in Shennongjia Natural Reserve in order to understand distribution patterns in different
habitats , so that we can get fundamental knowledge for long- term monitoring and conservation in this area.
We chose 23 samples representing six different types of vegetation , i. e. coniferous forests , deciduous broadleaved
forests , mixed forests , shrubs near river , meadows and bamboo. Besides the ordinary methods such as
sifter and net trap , Barber trap was employed as the main way of quantification. The results were as follows :
(1) a total of 58 368 specimens were collected , of which 46 213 were insects ; the rest belonged mainly to Annelida , Mollusca , Myriopda and Arachnida. Of insects , the most abundant groups were found to be Formicidae (Hymenoptera) , Staphylinidae and Carabidae (Coleoptera) , and next to them were Hemiptera , Homoptera , Diptera , Orthoptera and Neuroptera ; (2) vegetation types determined the distribution of insects ,
but the impact was significant only in terms of relatively lower taxa , family level , e. g. the beetle groups like
Staphylinidae and Carabidae. From relatively higher taxa , i. e. order level , no difference was evident (the following groups were all considered in details : Coleoptera , Diptera , Hymenoptera , Orthoptera , Hemiptera and
Homoptera) ; (3) some species were found in some special sites , which indicated that Shennongjia was a special area for species conservation.