Submitted to: National Parks and Forests Visitors Centers
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 12, 2004
Publication Date: April 14, 2005
Citation: Brown, J.W. 2005. Long-term data show declines in insect composition on Plummers Island, CHOH. National Parks and Forests Visitors Centers. 2004:69.
Interpretive Summary: Changes in the kinds of insects that live on a given plot of land over time can help tell land managers how their decisions might affect plant and animal communities. With funding from the U.S. National Park Service (NPS), we gathered data on specific insect groups from the collection of the National Museum of Natural History. This article provides a very brief overview of the project and details the changes in kinds of insects that lived on the study site over many years. These data have important implications in regards to the development of land management strategies for organizations whose goals include the maintenance of natural lands and the preservation of biodiversity and will be used by the National Park Service and other government agencies.
Based on an examination of specific portions of the USNM collection and a review of scientific literature, we documented from Plummers Island, Maryland 2,359 different insect species in 144 families, encompassing 10 insect orders (Odonata, Psocoptera, Dermaptera, Heteroptera, Neuroptera, Coleoptera, Diptera, Trichoptera, Lepidoptera, and Hymenoptera). Preliminary analyses of the data indicate considerable turn-over in species composition since 1900 in most families of insects. These findings may shed light on the types of changes that may be expected in the insect fauna in response to different land management strategies.