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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Systematic Entomology Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #323553

Research Project: Beetle Taxonomy and Systematics Supporting U.S. Agriculture, Arboriculture and Biological Control

Location: Systematic Entomology Laboratory

Title: Bioindicator beetles and plants in desertified and eroded lands in Turkey

item KOROTYAEV, B. - Russian Academy Of Sciences
item GULTEKIN, L. - Ataturk University
item VOLKOVITSH, M. - Russian Academy Of Sciences
item DOROFEYEV, V. - Russian Academy Of Sciences
item Konstantinov, Alexander - Alex

Submitted to: Journal of Insect Biodiversity
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/15/2015
Publication Date: 1/1/2016
Citation: Korotyaev, B.A., Gultekin, L., Volkovitsh, M.G., Dorofeyev, V.I., Konstantinov, A.S. 2016. Bioindicator beetles and plants in desertified and eroded lands in Turkey. Journal of Insect Biodiversity. 4(1):1-47.

Interpretive Summary: Beetles are among the most important organisms for U.S. agriculture. Many are serious pests and feed on crops destroying valuable plants. Others are important biological control agents that can be used to eliminate unwanted and invasive weeds. This work provides overview of phytophagous beetles that occur in dry landscapes in Turkey and are indicators of various kinds of environmental degradation. This study will be useful to university students, biological control workers, taxonomists, ecologists, biogeographers, and anyone interested in insect biodiversity.

Technical Abstract: Xerophilous vegetation with characteristic insect assemblages is described in main agricultural regions and native landscapes of Turkey. Long term, intensive investigations documented vast biotic degradation of soil and vegetation (commonly referred to as desertification) by an overgrazing, construction, recreation etc. Two main types of xeric landscape are under investigation: 1) natural, highly specific deserts, semi-deserts, dry mountain slopes and screes; and 2) anthropogenic, newly emerged, floristically impoverished, desertified areas. The presence of a multi-species insect assemblage on a xerophilous plant in certain area testifies its indigenous nature, whereas the absence of the specific consortium suggests recent plant invasion. The examples of the first case are the consortia of 3–6 species of Coleoptera, mainly Buprestidae, Chrysomelidae, and Curculionoidea, on some Apiaceae, Asteraceae, Brassicaceae, Chenopodiaceae, Ephedraceae (Ephedra spp.) and Polygonaceae (Calligonum polygonoides L.). An extreme example of anthropogenic vegetation are overgrazed wormwood steppe and semidesert which lack a usually diversified coleopterous consortia, including the most characteristic of this landscape tenebrionids, and orthopterans. Rapid disappearance of the xerophilous complexes from the extraordinarily diversified and largely uninventored Turkish biota makes preservation of the endangered plant and animal assemblages in different climatic zones of Turkey an urgent task.