Restoration of Agroecosystems: Predatory Invertebrate Abundance - Essay Example

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Generally, the regulation of internal ecosystem functions is dependent on the types of living organisms (plants, animals and microorganisms) that are found within the ecosystem. The existence and interaction of the various living organisms that are present in an ecosystem is…
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Restoration of Agroecosystems: Predatory Invertebrate Abundance
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Restoration of Agroecosystems: Predatory Invertebrate Abundance Generally, the regulation of internal ecosystem functions is dependent on the types of living organisms (plants, animals and microorganisms) that are found within the ecosystem. The existence and interaction of the various living organisms that are present in an ecosystem is known as biodiversity. Natural biodiversity provides many ecological services such as the production of food, nutrient cycling, the regulation of microclimate, as well as, the elimination of toxic substances (detoxification). In any ecosystem, ecological sustainability is a function of abundance and richness of plant and animal species. Therefore, in order to meet the increasing demand of socio-economic and environmental challenges, the development of agroecological technologies that emphasize the conservation-regeneration of biodiversity, becomes an urgent necessity (Zou, Sang, Bai, & Axmacher, 2013).
According to the “enemies’ hypothesis”: predators and parasitic organisms are more efficient in diverse systems than simple ones. This hypothesis is supported by the increasing number of studies on agroecosystem restoration. For example, Zou, et al.,(2013) used predatory beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae), to esatablish the relationship between plant diversity and the predatory beetles in Changbai Mountain, in China . A positive relationship was been determined between plant diversity and the abundance and diversity of the predatory arthropods. Additionally, herb density had little impact on the activity and abundance of the beetle, yet it is often believed to affect carabid movement.
Terrestrial arthropods provide important ecosystem functions (such as pollination, pest control and carbon and nutrient cycling), which have a positive impact on plant diversity patterns. When ecosystems have enhanced plant diversity, the result is an increased net primary productivity, which in turn leads to availability of more food for herbivorous arthropods, as well as, an overall increase in biomass of arthropod consumers (Zou, et al., 2013).
Zou, Y., Sang, W., Bai, F., & Axmacher, J. C. (2013). Relationships between Plant Diversity and the Abundance and α-Diversity of Predatory Ground Beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) in a Mature Asian Temperate Forest Ecosystem. PLoS ONE, 8(12). doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0082792 Read More
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