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International Journal of Ecology
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 237457, 12 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/237457
Research Article

Flower Density Is More Important Than Habitat Type for Increasing Flower Visiting Insect Diversity

School of Biology, Ridley Building, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU, UK

Received 28 February 2013; Revised 6 May 2013; Accepted 8 May 2013

Academic Editor: J. J. Wiens

Copyright © 2013 L. A. Scriven et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Declines in flora and fauna are well documented and highlight the need to manage available habitats to benefit local biodiversity. Between May and September in 2011 the number, composition, and diversity of flower visiting insects were assessed across eight sites, representing a range of habitats within an industrial site in the North East of England, UK. There was no significant difference in insect assemblages between the sites selected, but there was a significant difference between the months surveyed. Flower density was highlighted as the most important factor driving these changes between months and indicates that flower density is more important to a site for insect diversity than the presence of specific habitats. Analysis of the insect communities each month allowed comparison of dominant insects to the flower density data, highlighting sites where management intervention could be initiated to benefit insect diversity, or alternatively specific management plans to encourage target species. Furthermore, this study highlights the importance of correct data interpretation to answer specific management objectives and recommends analysing the insect community interactions to determine the dominant species present prior to undertaking any management of the site in question.