Farm News  |   June 1, 2021

Invertebrate Biodiversity Monitoring

We have set pitfall traps around the farm in partnership with Edinburgh Napier University, to get baseline information about invertebrate life on the farm…

three small items that look like upturned plastic cups sit in a triangular layout on grass, supported by small wooden pegs

We are keen to find out as much as we can about the biodiversity on the farm before we initiate any changes so that we can monitor the effects of management on local wildlife. Invertebrates including earthworms, insects and soil micro-organisms are all key indicators of how the whole system is functioning. Some work which will contribute to our knowledge of all this has just started at the farm. A student from Napier University has set out a series of pitfall traps on the site in order to capture invertebrates for identification. The traps are set flush with the ground and covered to protect them from the rain (see picture).

They are quite delicate. If you see them, try to avoid them and, of course, dogs will be very interested so please try and encourage them to walk on by.

This project will identify what species of invertebrate are present and will also note the abundance of each group. This will form an extremely useful baseline survey which will give us a picture of ground-dwelling invertebrates which can be repeated in the future in order to see what effects land-use changes are having. If we are genuinely enhancing habitats this could result in a greater diversity of species, a greater abundance of species and perhaps an increase in rare rather than generalist species. We will let you know what the results are and if you see the student on-site he’ll be very happy to show you the traps.

A big thanks to Napier University for making this important contribution.

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