Beneficial insects and their ecosystem services are at risk in agricultural landscapes. Monitoring their population trends is an important task for the future. We focus on relevant beneficial insects for pest control. The population dynamics of aphid-feeding hoverflies, predatory bugs and parasitoids are closely linked to the availability of host or prey species and other essential resources. Their incidence and abundance are important indicators of the ecosystem service "pest control". Furthermore, they are highly related to the presence of specific host species but also of general biodiversity. Their populations depend on small-scale resource availability and management intensity. Our sampling frame includes permanent grassland as well as orchard meadows as stepping stones within a matrix of intensively managed agricultural landscapes. This "trend monitoring" is complemented by citizen science research for the observation and assessment of beneficial insects in orchards.
Dr. Annette Herz
Dr. Felix Briem