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Tulane University

Publication Date

Spring 2018

Program Name

Tanzania: Wildlife Conservation and Political Ecology

Abstract

This study investigates how human disturbance of ecosystems alters insect diversity and abundance, specifically exploring how insect communities inside Mazumbai Forest Reserve in Tanzania differ from insect communities in agricultural areas near the reserve. Following methods of previous studies on the effect of disturbance on insect populations (Bellamy et al. 2018; McLaughlin & Mineau 1995; Perry et al. 2016), this research utilizes pitfall traps and yellow bowl traps in multiple locations throughout the two study areas to catch insects, which are then identified to their specific order. The collected data support the hypothesis that insect order diversity and abundance vary per location. Insect communities in agricultural areas are more diverse, likely explained by the intermediate disturbance hypothesis. However, insects are significantly more abundant in the forest reserve than agricultural areas; areas subject to less human disturbance have larger insect communities, an important signifier of a habitat viability.

Disciplines

African Studies | Entomology | Environmental Health

 

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