A pilot survey on diversity and ecology of beetles across a habitat gradient from urban to agricultural ecosystem in Vadodara district (Gujarat), India: a comparative account
Keywords:coleoptera, coccinellidae, urban ecosystem, agroecosystem, species diversity, abundance, fragmented habitats, trophic structure, feeding habit
This survey on Coleopteran faunal diversity was done in Vadodara district during year 2001 to 2007, when the work on insect diversity in Gujarat was very sparse and Vadodara district, which is in the centre of Gujarat state, was devoid of knowledge of its insect diversity. This is the first comprehensive survey of order Coleoptera in Vadodara district. Coleopteran species are pests, pollinators and predators, which make them small but important chain of the ecosystem. Present study was undertaken to access the diversity, richness, relative abundance of Coleoptera and rate of change in species along a gradient, from one habitat to another in four different habitats of Agricultural fields (Rural), Community gardens, Fragmented habitats and Residential areas (Urban). 94 species, 77 genera from 25 families were identified. The result showed that the fragmented landscapes of urban areas had higher abundance and diversity of Coleopteran families as compared to agro- ecosystems of rural areas. Coccinella septumpunctata showed greatest species richness in urban communities whereas Paederus fuscipes was dominant in the agro ecosystems. The trophic structure consisted of 44.6 % herbivores, 25.5% carnivores, 15.9% detrivores, 1% algivore and 12.7% grubs-adult with different feeding habits. The revival of the habitats and maintenance of the ‘green space’ is the need of the hour.
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